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Solo female in Palermo for 3 days (itinerary help!)

Singapore, Singapore
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Solo female in Palermo for 3 days (itinerary help!)

Ciao everyone!

I've been reading through this forum and the experts have been so helpful. I hope to get your input and advice on my itinerary for the last week of August. I'm a 30-yo, 5"2 female!

I arrive in Palermo on Saturday 1pm after a very long flight from Asia. I'm hoping to get started with a walking tour of the classic must-sees at about 3pm and have contacted a guide.

On Sunday, I'm undecided on what to do. Should I go to Agrigento, or try to combine Monreale in the morning with Bagheria? A really good Italian friend suggested that I would really like Bagheria, although I'm not sure what made her think so. I'm leaning towards the latter - Monreale and Bagheria, but checking the bus site seems to suggest that there isn't the 389 running on Sunday. Help?

I would ideally have liked to do a street food tour on Monday but only got one for Tuesday, which will end at 1.30pm. I have to get to the port for my ferry to Panarea which leaves at 1.50pm. Is this doable - do I need to leave the tour early? What does one do on a five-hour ferry - any tips to make it feel nicer? I contemplated going to Taormina/Milazzo to take the ferry but with the short amount of time I have, it looked like too much fuss..

About me - I really love to eat! I would have liked to sneak in a day trip to a winery, or some natural area to walk around/hike in and then have an agriturismo-style lunch but can't find any. I'd ideally like to break up my trip with a more leisurely/nature-filled place on Sunday. Please advise me on a foodie day trip and nice restaurants for a single gal in Palermo! (I eat constantly, but prefer smaller meals to big ones! Easier to digest.. more to try!)

I've also looked up cooking classes and they are all in the 150 euro range. Does anyone have ideas for anything cheaper, or a class that might cater to making dinner instead?

I also like learning about history/culture and really don't know much about Sicily beyond binging on the Godfather movies.. but with a proper guide, I usually enjoy myself with cultural learning very much.

So many questions! Grazie mille in advance!

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Palermo
Palermo
Sicily, Italy
Agrigento
Agrigento
Sicily, Italy
Taormina
Taormina
Sicily, Italy
Milazzo
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3 replies to this topic
Palermo, Italy
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1. Re: Solo female in Palermo for 3 days (itinerary help!)

Hi MissKismet, welcome.

So, all considered you have 2 full days plus 2 half days. This time could easily be spent between Monreale and Palermo alone (Palermo has much more to see than most people think), but wanting to extend the itinerary a bit I really wouldn't go for Bagheria, but rather for Cefalù (Palermo-Monreale-Cefalù is a classic 4-day tour for many visitors, although it could easily be a 7-day tour). Bagheria has something nice to see (especially Villa Cattolica with the Guttuso museum and Villa Palagonia), but unless there's some particular reason for you to get there in a 3-days trip I wouldn't consider it.

All in all I would go to Cefalù on Sunday, then use Monday and Tuesday morning for Palermo and Monday afternoon for Monreale.

For Palermo, I recommend you to read a bit and see what interest you most. Perhaps check the monuments listed in this map (in which you also find opening hours and entrance prices, if nothing changes by the time you visit):

https://goo.gl/crzGdC

Starting with a guided tour on Saturday is a good idea, so that you can get also a bit of orientation in the city, but for sure you won't be able to see all that's really worth seeing. So for Monday or Tuesday morning remember to go see Chiesa del Gesù (which will be closed on Saturday afternoon, and also on Sunday), and also Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio. But there's much more that shouldn't be missed.

A street food tour is also a good idea, as the guides know where to find the best food, but finishing at 1:30 and having a ferry that leaves at 1:50 looks like a very bad idea to me, you need more margin. Is there a possibility to reschedule for earlier? If not i would consider skipping it, or asking them if there's the possibility to have a reduced version finishing 1 hour earlier.

For food, it's not really a problem finding it. Try the street food of course, like arancine (I love the sausage arancine they do at bar Touring in via Lincoln, for example), but also "pane e panelle", "sfincione" and more. Walking around you will find these things to try, for example at Focacceria San Francesco that offers combined plates of street food, but of course especially in the street markets Ballarò and il Capo. Tuesday morning would be the best time to visit the two (and you can combine the visit to the market to visit Chiesa del Gesù, in Ballarò, and Chiesa dell'Immacolata Concezione, in Capo, both stunning). Of course you'll find more in restaurants, from sea food to typical dishes like Caponata.

I don't know about cooking classes, somebody else will maybe help you with that, but you could consider buying stuff in the street markets and preparing it at home.

Last thing, do you already know where you'll be staying? If not, consider the area between Teatro Massimo and Teatro Politeama, it's lively in the evening so as you're alone you might appreciate it (not that there's anything to worry about, except things that can happen in any big city).

Have a good trip!

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Palermo
Palermo
Sicily, Italy
Villa Palagonia
Villa Palagonia
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Sicily, Italy
Bar Touring
Bar Touring
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Sicily, Italy
Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: Solo female in Palermo for 3 days (itinerary help!)

Hiya! Thanks so much. I'm going to take your advice and visit Cefalu on Sunday.

I'm picking between two AirBnbs.

https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/12303627…

https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/13870946…

Do you have any opinion on either?

I'm wondering if I should take a day trip to Cefalu and come back to Palermo in the evening on Sunday. Will it be safe to walk to downtown Palermo from the train station at close to midnight..?

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Cefalu
Cefalu
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Palermo
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3. Re: Solo female in Palermo for 3 days (itinerary help!)

You're welcome MissKismet. The two apartments both look ok in terms of position. The first one looks like it's in vicolo Palmentieri from the pictures, so exactly in the middle of an area with bars and people staying out in the evening. A very convenient position for that, but there could be some night noises. The second one in palazzo Lampedusa is still close to this area, and the palace itself offers an interesting environment. So go with what you prefer, they're both ok.

The area around the central station is best avoided with dark, especially as you'll be alone (no need to be scared, but it's to be as safe as possible). Perhaps it would be best to go to Cefalù in the morning, and come back after lunch, to spend the late afternoon in Palermo, where you could visit some places open on Sunday afternoons until 18:00 such as Oratorio di Santa Cita or Chiesa di Santa Caterina (Cefalù can be seen in a few hours anyway).

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Lampedusa
Lampedusa
Sicily, Italy
Palermo
Palermo
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