PALERMO, pa-1iena5. The capital of the Province of Palermo and of Sicily. being the judicial, ecclesiastical, and military seat for the island. It is situated on the northwest coast. on the west side of the Bay of Palermo, 12(1 miles west of Messina (Map: Italy. 11 3)). The en tranee to the bay affords a beautiful view. The city. which has received the appellation of `la felice,' or 'the happy,' stretches magnifieently along the shores. lt is surrounded by the beauti ful plain of the Conea d'Oro, and is nobly backed by mountains reaching a height of nearly 3500 feet. the shapely Monte Pellegrino rising on the north and Cape Zaffarano stretching away to the east. The mean annual temperature is 63.6' F. In summer a refreshing wind blows up daily from the east, across the water.
Many of the streets are unpaved and are dis agreeable from dust at certain seasons of the year; the avenues are regular. and Palermo is. on the whole, well built and clean. There are four quarters which are formed by the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the Via ..Nlaequeda. At their intersection is the small but lively square called Quattro Canti, the geographical centre of the eity. It has eight sides, and is faced by facades decorated with statues of the holy virgins of Palermo. kings of Spain, and the seasons of the year. There are in the city many relics—towers, etc.—of Norman times. All the houses are pro vided with balconies. The Corso. the main street, leads from the sea to the cathedral and royal palace in the southwest corner of the city—the official Here the vast and picturesque cathedral faces the Piazza del Dimino (which is surrounded by sixttqqi huge holy statues) and stands adjacent to the important Piazza Vittoria. A statue of Santa Rosalia rises in front. The church was begun in I IGO, and is a composite structure with many spoiled features. Its facade, however, is very attractive. and its tombs of the Sicilian kings. including, that of Frederick II_ arc imposing. In the Chapel of Santa Rosalia lies the saint in a silver sarcopha!ms (1631). which is exhibited to the people thrice annually. Another interesting church is the San Giovanni degli Ere miti, with five domes and charming eloisters, a Norman strueture belonging to the early part of the twelfth century. The superb San Salvatore is a creation of ATIGI 10, and the Carmine Maggiore is also fine. The spacious La Mar torana dates from 1143. In it are the head quarters of the important Conservazione dci Monumenti di Sicilia. In the Oratorio del San tissimo Rosario is a notable altar-piece by Van Dyck.
The Palazzo Reale, or royal palace, stands on the site of a castle built in Saracenie times. The spot is associated with the lives of Manfred and Robert Guiscard. There is here, perhaps, the fin est attraction in the eity—the Arabie-Norman Palatina Chapel, It owes its origin to Roger 11. (11:32). A, a palace chapel it is unsurpassed, It is beautifully ornamented with mosaies, the glass mosaics on the interior walls being espe cially noteworthy. Around the Piazza Vittoria stand, in addition to the royal palace. the Palaz zo Sclafani, now serving as barracks; the archi episcopal palace, dating from the fifteenth cen tury, and possessing several graceful architec tural features; and the Palazzo Municipio, con taining a beautiful Greek statue of Antinoiis.
Among the tine new buildings in Palermo is the Government Finance Bureau. The modern Casino is found in the l'alazzo Geraci. The beautiful Garibaldi garden lies near the small harbor of La Cala. from which, along the sea, extends the magnitieent and fashionable espla nade Foro Hallett as far a-, the Villa Giulia, or the Flora. This public park, beautified with the rarest trees, is scarcely rivaled in Italy. It has monuments to the poet Meli and to Fred erick 11., and a meritorious modern marble group of the Greek heroes, the Cattails, chiseled by Civiletti. Adjacent is the splendid Botanic Gar den. Not far away, on the south side of the city, is the Garibaldi gate where the patriot en tered in 1860. In the northwestern part of the city extends the modern Via della Libertit, the popular drive in winter. It passes through the English Garden, opposite the gate of which is a fine equestrian statue, of Garibaldi. dating from IS92. In this direction lies the newest quarter of Palermo. It is occupied chiefly by foreigners. There are in the city a monument to Philip V. (18561. a statue of Charles V., the historic statue of the Genius of Palermo, and a statue of Victor Emmanuel I. In the Piazza Croee del Vespro stands a memorial (marble column and cross) erected in 1737 to the French buried here after the Sicilian Vespers.' The National Museum is in the suppressed monastery Dei Filippini, and is interesting. Among its more valuable contents is an exeep tionallv fine altar-piece with wings, of the early Flemish period. attributed by some to Cornelis sen. by others to 'Ialtuse. Here, also. are the fa mous metopes of Selinns. representing almost the highest stage of Greek art.