When looking to book an apartment in Palermo I can highly recommend you find one overlooking Via Principe Di Belmonte. Specifically I would choose the area between Via Roma and Via Ruggiero Settimo. Dave and I chose Appartamento Belmonte for our 3 night stay.
Overlooking the pedestrian zone, Appartamento Belmonte has a lot to offer. It comes with two caveats. The first being the noise from the street. Whereas it will not go on too late into the night, it can get quite loud. This is due to the restaurants and bars which have tables in the street. The second is the noise from the gates. People slam them closed and as it is an apartment block in a residential area, people leave for work. And this can be quite early in the morning.
Arriving with Il Papa
The Pope was visiting on the day we arrived in Palermo. This led to two issues. The first being we could not get off at the bus stop we had planned on. Our 350m walk turned out to be more like 2km but only because the roads were closed. We also could not get to the large supermarket to do our shopping for the same reason. But it was quite something to witness even though we did not get to see Il Papa. Alessandra, our hostess, waited patiently for our arrival. She was super enthusiastic to share with us all the things we needed to do while in Palermo. Even going so far as to tell us her favourite bars, restaurants and shops.
Appartamento Belmonte is accessed via an elevator and includes a large bedroom with built-in-cupboards. The bathroom is fair-sized but has a tiny shower. Something we are used to in Italy. It also has a washing machine which is a plus when you are travelling light. The lounge, dining room and kitchenette are all one space, and well equipped. Both the lounge area and bedroom have air conditioning units which we made use of. The apartment includes free WiFi, a flat-screen TV and a DVD player.
What to do close by
Walk along Ruggiero Settimo to Quattro Canti and from there you are close to so many other great sites. Read here to see more of what we did while in Palermo. Make sure you do not miss Ballaro Market for great fresh produce. You can easily catch a bus to Lido di Mondello, the perfect spot for some relaxation. The bus stops are close by with easy access to the train station. But rather walk around as much as you can, exploring the areas of the city.
Why self catering?
Dave and I like to cook for ourselves when on holiday. The apartment has a dishwasher so this made cleaning up a breeze. There is a small fridge, which is more than adequate for a few days food. We shop every day which is a habit in Europe. Many people leave behind what they do not want to travel with, such as tea, coffee and olive oil. Alessandra also provided us with dishwashing liquid, cleaning materials and enough dustbin bags. If you don’t feel like cooking for yourself there are many places close by to choose from. We had drinks each night and my favourite place was Antico Caffè Spinnato. There is also a small Coop supermarket close by.