Palermo, Sicily – Hotel and Restaurant Reviews

Hotel Porta Felice

A four star hotel located just off the Porta Felice near the center of the Palermo within walking distance, albeit a long (15 – 20 minute) walk,  of the main sights and restaurants. We upgraded to a superior room which was huge with a large marble bathroom. The room was directly on the street, but with the windows closed and the blinds drawn was quiet and dark. Great for sleeping.

The hotel and rooms are decorated in a simple contemporary style. The breakfast buffet is ample with fresh breads and pastries as well as fruit, cereal and yogurt and hot items such as scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. There is also outdoor seating with a view of the hills behind Palermo. In room Wi Fi connection is available free of charge and if the Pope isn’t in town, parking is available on the street in front of the hotel. We liked this hotel very much; just don’t ask for an iron. “I’m sorry madam, we don’t have.”


 Le Delizie di Cagliostro

Le Delizie di Cagliostro, located on corso Vittorio Emanuele, is a Frommer’s find listing and as such was filled with foreign tourists. The food is served in a casual dining room decorated in an 18th century style complete with trompe l’oeil frescoes. We had the steamed mussels, squid ink pasta, grilled swordfish, and swordfish alla Palermitana (coated in bread crumbs seasoned with oregano) with a side of spinach.

The mussels were cooked perfectly, but in a very watery broth, the squid ink pasta was yummy and rich, and the swordfish dishes were on the small side, but well cooked. I didn’t care for the Palermitana preparation much as the bread crumb coating was soggy. The spinach was simply prepared, maybe too simply as it desperately needed some salt. The wine selection was minimal and not that great and the service competent and friendly. A decent meal but not much of a find.

 Ristorante ai Maccheronai

We had lunch at one of their outside tables at the Vucciria market on via Maccherronai. This is a simple inexpensive restaurant with daily specials listed outside the entrance. We had the caponata, bucatini con sarde (sardines) and macaroni with an eggplant pesto. All the dishes were simply prepared, well cooked and tasty. A nice lunch or dinner if you happen to be in the area.


Giada is located south of  the Piazza Castelnuovo on via Principe di Belmonte. They have a nice outdoor patio on a pedestrian only street with an older, more upscale clientele. A welcome change from the exuberant crowds at the restaurants south of the Teatro Massimo.

We had the spaghetti ricci (sea urchin) and the grilled sea bass with a side of grilled vegetables. The pasta and sea bass were simply prepared and perfectly cooked. The wine was also excellent, a cabernet blend, Burdese from the Planeta winery. The restaurant is expensive with excellent service, however, if you are watching your budget I highly recommend asking the price of the fresh fish before ordering it.

For links to all the posts in this series see the Sicily page.

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