Palermo, the regional capital of Sicily, is a buzzing Mediterranean center whose ca. 700,000 inhabitants are a fascinating cocktail of apparently diversified characteristics.

Historically, the town went from one dominating power to another with remarkable frequency. Its strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean brought wave upon wave of invaders including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Saracen Arabs, Normans, Swabians, and French and Spanish Bourbons just to name some of the most influential. The result of this quilted history is evident today in the vast range of architectural styles, the intriguing fusion of ingredients in many local dishes, and in many names of places obviously not of Italian origin.

There is an incredible number of interesting monuments in Palermo and in its environs. You can actually spend a whole week in the province of Sicily and still only have time to see the most important sites, which include churches, museums, palaces, theaters, and gardens.

Italy is the country with the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Since July 2015, a new Italian jewel has been placed on the list: the breathtaking architectural complex of Arabic and Norman origins of Palermo, along with the Cathedrals of Monreale and Cefalù.

The outdoor markets blend the past and present for bargain hunters. One of the legacies of Palermo’s past as a commercial center and port that continues to manifest itself in the present day is the Palermo market culture. In particular, Palermo’s Muslim history has made an imprint on the bazaars and markets of the town. Bustling, crowded, and full of all kinds of treasures, a day at the market is a unique way to connect with the real lifestyle of the Palermo locals.

Palermo is fifth in the list of the “top ten cities for street food”. The uniqueness of street food from Palermo lies not only in its variety and goodness, but also in the ability that every dish has to tell a historical chapter of the Sicilian capital.

The Arabs, who knew the joy of a green oasis, were the ones who introduced gardens to Palermo. The Normans added to the idea by creating extensive parklands and summer retreats to escape the heat. Today, you can wander among gardens and greenery and encounter incredible centuries-old banyan trees and other exotic plantings.

The Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden) was laid out in 1795. The garden is known to botanists the world over thanks to the richness and variety of its plant species, which are mainly tropical and subtropical. Among the curiosities are the Bombacaceae and Chorisias plants shipped here in the late 19th century from South America. These have swollen, prickly trunks and, in spring, bloom with beautiful pink flowers that turn into a strange fruit.


Palermo is a big city. Just be careful in the large cities, as you would in any other part of the world. If you’re going out at night, avoid dark, lightly travelled streets, just as in any large metropolitan area. When riding the city buses in Palermo, be careful of pickpockets.

averages mondello

Mondello is more or less a suburb of the city, one of the most beautiful places of Sicily, in a charming landscape from the air perfumed by lush gardens and sunny richly bordered by a beautiful beach, soft fine sand sloping into a turquoise sea. In ancient times Mondello was presented as a poor fishing village, consists of a set of small and poor houses grouped around a tower. By the early XX century a Belgian company began developing property, and wealthy residents of Palermo started buying up the new, elegant ‘Liberty-style’ villas by the beach. The road which curves behind the beach makes a pleasant stroll. In the square Mondello is a circular fountain, with a mythological sculpture called “Little Mermaid Watching the Sea”. On a pier in the centre of the bay is the art nouveau building known as the Charleston. Now restored, it’s restaurant, Le Terrazze, offers stunning views over the bay. Restaurants and shops surround the square near the boat harbour. Mondello’s summer season runs from May to September.


Rooms are being held at the Congress venue hotel at special rates. Accommodation at Splendid Hotel La Torre (4 stars) includes breakfast.


Participants will be automatically rebooked in other hotels of Mondello and/or Palermo in case all rooms at the Splendid Hotel La Torre will be filled.

Since all activities of the Congress will take place within the space of the Splendid Hotel La Torre (conferences, meetings, display of posters and lunches), accommodation in this hotel is very advantageous and convenient.
Hotel reservations can be confirmed together with the Congress registration.
Only guaranteed reservations will be accepted. To guarantee your reservation, full payment is required.
All hotel rates are in Euros, per room/night, including service, breakfast and 22% VAT.
A City Tax per person of € 2,00 (for the first four days of stay) is not included in the room’s price.

Standard Room DusB&B€ 107
Room Garden View DusB&B€ 128
Sea View Room DusB&B€ 150
Extra person staying in hotel roomB&B€ 30/day




Falcone-Borsellino Airport is at Punta Raisi, 30 km west of Palermo on the A29 motorway. Nearly all major airlines offer flights to Palermo (Alitalia, Easyjet, Ryanair, Volotea, AirBerlin, Meridiana, AirFrance, Vueling, Medavia, etc.)


From/to the airport

The simplest transportation is by bus. Prestia e Comandè (http://www.prestiaecomande.it/?idx=102) runs an efficient half-hourly bus service between 5am and 11pm that transfers passengers from the airport to the centre of Palermo, dropping people off outside the Teatro Politeama Garibaldi and Palermo Centrale train station.
Tickets for the journey (prices to be updated January 2016), which takes anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes depending on traffic, cost €6.30 one-way. Return journeys to the airport run with the same frequency and pick-up at the same points.


A train (the “Trinacria Express”) serves the route between the Palermo airport and the main railway station, departing every hour or so, a ticket costs 5.80 euros.


Taxis are not recommended as you’ll probably be grossly overcharged, paying at least 50 euros for the ride into the city, and even higher rates after 8 PM. The major car-hire companies are represented at the airport.



From Palermo’s port Grandi Navi Veloci ferries operate to Civitavecchia, Genoa, Naples and Tunis; Tirrenia goes to Cagliari and Naples; Grimaldi Lines goes to Salerno.



Two of the most popular long distance train connections back to the mainland arrive at the Palermo train station from Rome and Naples (http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en).



Sicilian freeways are mostly toll-free. Toll booths are found only on the A18 and A20. Here you must pay cash showing the ticket that you took from the freeway entrance. Some toll booths are reserved for the automatic telepass system, so pay attention to be in the right line of cars. In Italy highway signals are coloured in green.


Palermo - Catania

This freeway is managed by ANAS and is toll-free. The A19 is almost an obligatory choice for visiting the centre of the island (Enna, Caltanissetta) or to reach Agrigento and the valley of the temples. The highway starts at the “circonvallazione” (beltway) of Palermo in via Regione Siciliana. The first stretch of the road, until Termini Imerese, is along the northern coast of Sicily. Then it turns into the island’s centre.


Messina - Palermo

The A20 highway is 182 Km long and it is managed by CAS. It is a toll road. The freeway swings along the rocky northern coast of Sicily and has viaducts and tunnels.


Mondello is on Palermo’s urban bus network, and standard tickets for the AMAT city buses (including good-value day tickets) are valid as far as Mondello, making it a cheap and easy outing from central Palermo. You should buy a ticket before getting on the bus, at any newspaper kiosk or tobacco shop or other bus company booths. Buses 806 and 833 run to Mondello from the Politeama and Piazza Sturzo in Palermo. Services are fairly frequent, with extra services in summer, when the buses can get uncomfortably full. The journey takes around 20 minutes, circling the base of Monte Pellegrino. In the summer there is also another line to Mondello (called GT or Gran Turismo) operating more comfortable coaches; details can be found on the AMAT city bus website along with details of the regular urban routes. From the airport, the simplest way to travel is by taxi.