It may still be basking in the glow of being Italian Capital of Culture 2018 but the city has been a cultural melting pot since antiquity
The Sicilian capital, called the “Kingdom of the sun” by invading Normans in the 12th century, has been a cultural melting pot since Phoenicians and Greeks fought over it in the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Sitting close to where Europe ends and Africa begins, Palermo bears the scars – and echoes the glories – of centuries of domination. Once Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman and ultimately Italian – unified with the mainland only in 1861 – it has a relatively recent “made in Italy” identity. And in 2018 it basked under the banner of Italian Capital of Culture, hosting the prestigious Manifesta contemporary art biennale and helping regenerate its waterfront.