Cultural excursions - halisaClub

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Art, sea and culture to experience with Halisaclub

As a part of our cultural courses, Halisaclub excursions offer the opportunity to visit the most important historical and artistc sites and to deepen your knowledge of the Italian language and culture.

1. The Historical Centre of Palermo.
About 4 hours

Palermo can be considered a synthesis of the numerous cultures and civilizations which reigned in succession over Sicily throughout the centuries.  The historical and artistic centre of the town, one of the largest in the world, contains wonderful masterpieces of art.

We will travel through the various periods of our history, visiting the most noteworthy testimonies of each era (the Arab-Norman period, the Baroque and the Liberty eras.) and "living" the strangest aspects of our culture and traditions (the veneration of Santa Rosalia, the cult of the dead, the redolent Arabian markets.)

A very interesting excursion that makes you feel really "Sicilian"!!!

2. Monreale's Cathedral
About 3 hours

Monreale, a small town 12 Km. from Palermo, famous for its marvelous Norman cathedral, entirely decorated with golden mosaics, and the splendid adjacent cloister. The "Duomo" was erected in 1174, at the behest of the Norman king William II. Islamic architects adapted Fatima art to Christian places of worship, creating a masterpiece whose value is unequalled in any other part of Italy.

The cloister brings to life the atmosphere of Muslim courtyards: the 228 twin columns, richly decorated with polychrome mosaics and relief, are surmounted by oval arches.

3. The Capuchin Catacombs
About 2 hours

The visit to the "Catacombs", in the crypts of the Capuchin convent, is, without a doubt, very suggestive!

This place, which offers a very macabre sight, displays eight thousand mummified or embalmed corpses, buried there until 1881, when the custom was abolished. In the adjoining graveyard, there is the tomb of G. Tomasi di Lampedusa, the author of the famous novel "The Leopard".  An excursion which can't be missed!!!

4. The "Pitrè Ethnographic Museum": a century of history and traditions
About 3 hours

The "Pitrè Ethnographic Museum", founded in 1909, is one of the most important ethnographic museums in Europe.

It contains documents and testimonies of the life, art and traditions of the Sicilian people: agricultural implements, traditional costumes, magic amulets, ex-votos and ancient objects that help us to reconstruct the Sicilian ancient way of life, their habits, customs and working environment.

The museum is situated in the servants' quarters of the "Palazzina cinese", the original royal palace built by the famous architect Venanzio Marvuglia, in 1799, for the Bourbon king Ferdinand IV. This residence, built in the Chinese style, reflects the exotic taste of its period.

5. La Zisa
About 3 hours

Construction of the Zisa was initiated during the reign of William I and completed by his son William II, around 1167. It was the favourite summer residence of the king. Its name derives from the Arabic "al-Aziz" which means "marvelous".
The palace's exterior is square, massive and quite simple. But the geometrical simplicity of the exterior does not reveal the complex interior arrangement, centred on the wonderful "Fountain Room" with its mosaic decoration, marble panels, medallions and "muqarnas", a typical Islamic decoration.
Another noteworthy element is the ventilation system based on pipes which, at that time, provided coolness during the summer.
This monument had several proprietors throughout the centuries. In the middle of the XVII century, it became property of the noble family Sandoval who transformed it into a Baroque residence.

6. The archaeological site of Solunto
About 3 hours

Solunto, is a impressive archaeological site, in an enchanting panoramic position, which contains Punic, Hellenistic and Roman elements. The city plan was designed by the Greek, Ippodamo da Mileto.  Among the most important finds are a Punic open-air altar used for human sacrifices, the elegant Leda's house and the so called "Gymnasium", a peristyle with a double row of columns.

Some artifacts are preserved in a small but functional "Antiquarium" next to the ruins; but the most important artifacts, including two wonderful anthropoid sarcophagi made of stone, are found in the "Archaeological Museum" of Palermo.

7. Palermo beneath the stars
About 3 hours

We will admire, "beneath the stars", some of the most beautiful monuments of our rich historical center which is among the largest in the world. These include the Cathedral, "Pretoria square", the four corners known as "the theatre of the sun", the "Spasimo", "Massimo" and "Politeama" theatres and many others.

It is a very evocative excursion which let you enjoy the town in a very unusual way!

8. A Sicilian sea mini-cruise

Aboard of a sail boat or a motorboat we'll spend together a day in the wonderful Sicilian seaside, enjoying enchanting places and tasting delicious Sicilian specialties.

It is also possible to choose the lenght of the nimicruise (half a day, a whole day, two days sleeping on board.

- Last update 01/01/2019
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Special thanks to: Assessorato Turismo Regione Siciliana, Azienda Autonoma Provinciale Incremento Turistico, for having kindly provided us with some images shown in this web site. No part of this web site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means.
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