Teatro Massimo

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Teatro Massimo: Our most recommended tours and activities

Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

1. Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

Explore Teatro Massimo, the open-air market "Il Capo", Piazza Della Memoria (Memorial dedicated to prosecutors and judges killed by the Mafia), Piazza Beati Paoli, the Cathedral, the City Hall, and Piazza Magione. Every stop will be a pause for reflection, a chance to mull over the realities of the Mafia and consider the civic movement against Mafioso power. Along the tour, you will meet shopkeepers who have said NO to paying the Pizzo, who have subscribed to the ethical consumer campaign ‘Pago chi non Paga’ (I pay who does not pay). This campaign is promoted by Addiopizzo to support those that have decided to rebel against the Mafia. End the tour at Antica Focacceria San Francesco, one of the oldest restaurants in Palermo, famous for its ‘Cibo da Strada Palermitano’ (street food of Palermo). Learn about how the owners had the courage to speak out against extortion. Lunch is not included but if you decide to stay you can taste some specialties like, "pane con la Milza" (sandwich stuffed with beef spleen and ricotta cheese), "Arancine" (rice balls), "Panelle" (chickpea fritters), "Anelletti al Forno" (baked ring-shaped pasta), "Involtini di Melanzane" (eggplant rolls), "Sarde a Beccafico" (sardine rolls) and the famous Cannoli.

Palermo Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: 24-Hour Ticket

2. Palermo Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: 24-Hour Ticket

Discover Palermo, the chief town of Sicily, on an open-top, hop-on hop-off bus tour! Start from the terminal outside the Politeama Theater, cruise past the Massimo Theatre, and continue towards Piazza Quattro Canti and the nearby Vucciria Market. The tour continues towards the botanical gardens, passing near Palazzo Steri. After a quick glance of the central station, you'll find yourself in the vicinity of the Royal Palace, the Flea Market, and the Cathedral. Then return to the terminal along the ancient via Roma. The second route takes you to the beautiful villas of Palermo. Starting from the terminal outside the Politeama Theatre, admire the gorgeous English Garden and then continue towards Villa Malfitano and the wonderful Zisa Castle. The tour passes near the Mercato del Capo and the Massimo Theatre, towards the port, and then returns to the terminal in Politeama Square.

Palermo: Markets and Monuments City Center Walking Tour

3. Palermo: Markets and Monuments City Center Walking Tour

Get a feel for the rich history, culture, and architecture of central Palermo on a 3-hour guided walking tour. Your guide will take you to Norman Sicily churches and beautiful palaces, through bustling city squares and famous old street markets. Head first to the Teatro Massimo and learn about Italy’s largest opera house, known for its perfect acoustics. Then visit the beautiful Palermo Cathedral, dating from the 12th century and part of UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. See the Church of the Gesù, one of the most important Baroque churches in Palermo, as well as the Praetorian Palace, an outstanding palace of the 15th century.   Continue to Pretoria Square, referred to by locals as the “square of shame” for the nudity of its fountain statues. You’ll also visit the nearby Bellini Square where you’ll see the Church of San Cataldo and Martorana Church, two more Norman Sicily–era churches and UNESCO World Heritage sites.   Along the way, your guide will lead you through the famous Capo street markets. Observe the lively scenes and multitude of smells, textiles, and colorful foods as you weave among the stalls. You can also buy and taste some of the city’s popular street food, including: panelle (chickpea fritters), crocchè (fried potato and egg), and arancine (rice balls).   The tour ends in the exact center of historic Palermo, the Baroque Villena Square, also known as Quattro Canti (Four Corners). It was built in the early 1600s at the crossing of the two most prominent streets in Palermo: Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda.

Palermo: Exclusive Art Tour

4. Palermo: Exclusive Art Tour

Discover the historical monuments of Palermo on a small group half-day tour, and learn the fascinating history of the city, from its birth under the Phoenicians through the Roman Republic and the Byzantine Empire to the modern day. Wander the winding streets of the Politeama sestiere (district) to see iconic buildings such as the Teatro Politeama and Teatro Massimo, one of the largest opera houses in Europe. Learn about the Arab-Norman era and religious rites at sites such as the 12th-century Cappella Palatina (Palatine Chapel) in the Palazzo Reale. Look in wonder at the splendid façade of Palermo Cathedral, characterized by different architectural styles, from the Gothic through the early Renaissance and Baroque. Learn more about the hidden treasures of the historical center and hear amazing stories that take you on a journey through time.

Palermo: Small Group Night Street Food Tour

5. Palermo: Small Group Night Street Food Tour

Meet your local guide at the main opera house and get to know the other travelers. You'll then walk through the streets before having a welcome toast. Enjoy a glass of fresh Sicilian wine and some interesting bites that you won't normally find in touristy places. On this tour, you'll get to know the real Palermo, its food, its people, and its secrets. Learn about the Sicilian lifestyle as you stroll towards the old port of Palermo. Stop at street food stalls in the heart of Vucciria and sample the best bites selected by your guide. You will get to try the famous spleen sandwich and hear some interesting facts about its origins. The small group allows for easy interaction with your guide and the rest of the group. Your guide will then show you hidden spots and discuss several topics during the walk, from history to art to social issues. Feel free to ask your guide whatever you want. The walk ends at the old port of Palermo for one last sweet treat, a Brioche with ice cream. This will the memorable end to the tour and your last chance to get some tips to help you enjoy the rest of your stay as much as possible.

Palermo: Street Food and Local Market Tasting Tour

6. Palermo: Street Food and Local Market Tasting Tour

Be part of the first ever street food tour in Sicily and explore the main markets and squares of Palermo city center with a licensed guide. Escape the usual tourist traps and discover venues loved by the locals for a fully immersive experience in small groups of no more than 12 people. Venture down secret alleyways to chat to street food vendors and colorful characters. Enter the oldest working class bar downtown and share a drink with Palermitans. Take the best tips from your local guide, and receive a unique food passport souvenir to take away.                      

Palermo: Historical Center Walking Tour with Rooftop Views

7. Palermo: Historical Center Walking Tour with Rooftop Views

Discover Palermo from above on a guided walking tour. Take in the city's top attractions, including picturesque piazzas, grand churches, and Palermo Cathedral. Explore the rooftops to see the city from up high. Learn about Palermo's history and the Sicilian tradition of baking in convents. Meet your guide at the entrance to Teatro Massimo, the biggest opera house in Italy. Take in the beautiful Piazza Giuseppe Verdi, before heading along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, where you can admire many architectural gems, including the impressive Palermo Cathedral with its mix of styles. Then, head to Piazza Bellini and the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Marvel at its Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo features. Discover this former convent's baking roots in the Dolceria, a project aimed at rediscovering the ancient Sicilian tradition of baking in convents. Next, get a whole new perspective on Palermo by climbing up to the roof of the convent of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, where you can admire breathtaking city views. Take in the beauty of the dome of the Baroque Chiesa del Santissimo Salvatore church and the Cathedral from up high. Finally, visit the enchanting Piazza Pretoria, also known as the square of shame, in the middle of the historical center of Palermo. Admire its majestic marble fountain featuring sixteen nude statues of nymphs, humans, mermaids, and satyrs. Then, finish your tour back at the meeting point.

Palermo: Teatro Massimo Opera House Guided Tour

8. Palermo: Teatro Massimo Opera House Guided Tour

Get to know Palermo's famous opera house on this 30 minute guided tour. Explore the stunning auditorium and other rooms of the third largest opera house in Europe. Start your tour in the foyer. Admire the sculptures and bronze-decorated candelabra in this opulent place. Next, move to the auditorium and enjoy the golden stuccoes, wooden decorations, and features in velvet and glass. Visit the stage and see what happens to enable the staging of an opera. Admire the gorgeous royal box, as well as other areas like the Coat of Arms and Pompeian Rooms. Learn fascinating facts about the opera house, and enjoy breathtaking views of Palermo from the building's top.

Palermo: Vintage Fiat 500 Sightseeing Tour

9. Palermo: Vintage Fiat 500 Sightseeing Tour

After rendezvousing with your guide at the meeting point, you'll head to the Piazza Giuseppe Verdi, the seat of the Teatro Massimo and the third largest theater in Europe — as well as a filming location for the Godfather Part 3. From there, follow your guide to the "Cala", the oldest port of the city, before continuing to the characteristic "Ballarò" markets. Inside these markets you'll have time to buy some souvenirs before you make your way back to your car. Resume your drive and admire the beautiful Cathedral and Palazzo dei Normanni. During the journey, you'll have time to stop to take pictures from the small interior of the cars. Walk around the beautiful gardens of La Zisa, a 12th-century palace built towards the end of the Norman Kingdom. Then, stop at one of the oldest bars in Palermo, where you can sample cannoli or cassata, two of Palermo's most famous treats.  Your experience will involve all of the tastes, colors, and sounds that this region is renowned for, with the added bonus of experiencing it all in a novelty car, the Fiat 500.

3-Hour Palermo Segway PT Authorized Tour

10. 3-Hour Palermo Segway PT Authorized Tour

Palermo's metropolitan attractions and incredibly diverse history are yours to discover as we guide you through the streets on your personal Segway. Early in the tour we pass the Teatro Massimo, Italy's largest opera house. Then you step back to the time of the Saracens as we cross the Arab-flavored Capo Market toward the cathedral, built in the 1100s but renovated in various styles through the centuries since. Further on, the Norman Palace recalls the time after the Saracens. It and the Bishop's Palace overlook Piazza della Vittoria and Villa Bonano, where traces of the old Roman city are preserved. Little remains from the time of Greek dominance or from the Phoenicians who founded the city. Palaces and churches, Town Hall Square with the Pretoria Fountain, Garibaldi Gardens and the fascinating Castello a Mare, or "castle in the sea" -- you will be amazed at all that Palermo has to offer.

Other Sightseeing Options in Teatro Massimo

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What people are saying about Teatro Massimo

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 281 reviews

A thoroughly enjoyable experience. Our charming and knowledgeable guide, Salvo created a connection between us and Palermo, we met his friends as we moved around and felt welcomed and at home. We were greeted with smiles everywhere. The drinks were good, the food varied, interesting and it added up to almost too much. We had a wonderful evening and recommend it unreservedly.

I always do a food tour when I arrive to a new city. It’s so helpful to have locals give the ins and outs/do’s and don’ts while eating local fare. Angelo was wonderful! Super knowledgeable, personable and fun. I had the best arancina of my life and could not recommend Palermo or the food tour more highly.

A great food tour of Palermo - markets, tastings, and also some local history and stories. Our guide Raffa had so much passion and enthusiasm so that even with some bad weather halfway through the tour, it was still a great day.

Great tour through Palermo you get shown everything and you can taste the local specialties... And you also get shown the city!

Angelo was a very passionate guide about the food and culture of Palermo