From the sky of Monte Pellegrino to the bowels of the city

From the sky of Monte Pellegrino to the bowels of the city

An itinerary that shows Palermo ‘from top to bottom’, starting from the top of the Utveggio Castle to descend into the depths of the earth to discover the Capuchin Catacombs.

The Utveggio Castle, from its position on Mount Pellegrino so dear to the people of Palermo for preserving the Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia, is a castle by definition only, which has neither noble origins nor antiquity.

It was built in the early twentieth century to become a luxury hotel in Art Nouveau style, project abandoned after the end of the Second World War.

Its elegant structure, however, keeps on leaving visitors breathless, embellished by the view from which visitors can enjoy the city below and the gulf. Before leaving Mount Pellegrino, the visit will continue in the Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia, hosted in a natural cave of a great charm in the bowels of the mountain and then to the summit of the Mount to admire the view over the city from the Belvedere with the statue of the “Santuzza” .

From the height of Monte Pellegrino the tour descends towards the Cuba district where, attached to the Church of Santa Maria della Pace, are the Catacombs of the Capuchins that provide a historical ‘underground’ reading of the city of Palermo, veiled by a pinch of mystery. Despite the name, the catacombs do not only preserve the mummified bodies of the Capuchin friars but also the simple inhabitants of the city (the last one dates back to 1920, evidence of a practice that was kept alive until few years ago).

There are about 8000 preserved corpses, which make the Catacombs of the Capuchins one of the most impressive places in the world and which, at the same time, tell in an unusual way the history and traditions of the Palermo society. The fascination commanded by the catacombs of Palermo has also attracted poets, writers and intellectuals such as Alexandre Dumas, Carlo Levi and Guy de Maupassant.

Finally, the tour continues with a visit to the early Christian catacombs of Porta d’Ossuna.

Point of Interest

  • Castello Utveggio
  • Catacombe dei Cappuccini
  • Monte Pellegrino
  • Santuario di Santa Rosalia
  • statua della “Santuzza”
  • quartiere Cuba
  • Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pace
  • Porta d’Ossuna


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