If you’re looking for an Italian holiday destination with natural beauty, exciting and interesting things to do, then look no further than stunning Palermo. This city still has the same gorgeous, Italian rustic charm as Rome and Venice – just not so many tourists. Nestled on the northern coast of Sicily and a short hop across the island from Mount Etna, it’s an ideal destination in its own right or as part of a longer Italian tour. Let’s take a closer look at the best time to visit Palermo.
When to visit Palermo in Sicily
1. Avoid the heat and the crowds
With its delicious food and free-flowing wine, it’s not surprising that Italy is a hugely popular tourist destination (particularly in the hot summer months). The cooler, but still perfectly acceptable, temperatures throughout spring and autumn mean it’s a great time to visit to catch the rays while also avoiding the crowds. Temperatures in March to May average between 14 and 19 degrees Celsius, while from September to November they average between 25 to 17 degrees Celsius.
2. Foodies – check what’s in season
Italy is famous for its fresh and delicious food, so make sure if that’s your main reason for a visit, you plan your stay with what’s in season. Seafood lovers will want to try Palermo’s lauded street markets in spring when fresh tuna, swordfish and sardines are not to be missed. Summer is great for juicy, refreshing fruits like peaches, grapes and watermelon, while if you enjoy olives, autumn is a good time to visit. Citrus fruits like oranges, mandarins and lemons come into season throughout the winter, when it’s also a great time to check out the restaurants as they often offer delicious semifreddo di mandorle o pistacchi (almond or pistachio parfait smothered in hot chocolate sauce).
3. Visit the World Festival on the Beach
If the title of this festival doesn’t already have you packing your bags, how about the fact that it takes place in Mondello throughout May, it’s free to enter, and there are a host of watersport competitions to watch and music events to be a part of. Perfect.
4. Runners assemble!
The Palermo marathon takes place in mid-November, so if you’re a keen runner and looking to combine a new marathon with a historic, culture-filled trip, Palermo could provide the ideal setting. The Palermo marathon is a relatively quiet, low-key race, taking in a fairly flat route around Mt. Pelegrino, Mondello, down the Via de Liberta and via the courtyard of Capella Palentina. It’s quintessentially Sicilian, including narrow streets, broad avenues and quaint markets.
For the rest of the year, or for less serious runners, there are also three Parkrun events situated in and around Palermo: Foro Italico Parkrun; Uditore Parkrun; and Favorita Parkrun, while Montelepre Parkrun is nearby and Etna Parkrun can also be found on Sicily.