Palermo's harbour is a promenade and photo backdrop. Since its restoration in 2008, the many yachts and cosy bars and cafés have made the harbour a well-groomed and make the harbour a hotspot for the people of Palermo. We will show you the marina, La Cala, as well as the adjacent ferry port, from which cruise ships depart for nearby excursion destinations.
by: Adriana Cuffaro | 11 Aug 2021
Are you looking for a beautiful photo motif? Then enter the harbour bay of La Cala to the east via Corso Vittorio Emanuele. As you do so, you will pass the towers of Porta Felice, which line the road to the left and right and are an impressive building of a bygone era.
If you stroll through the beautiful harbour bay of La Cala, Palermo's marina, today, not much reminds you of the original natural harbour that the Phoenicians opened up for trading purposes around 3000 years ago. Once one of Italy's most important trading ports, this part of Palermo's harbour has been transformed from an industrial port into a sophisticated marina.
Keep to the left and you will already see the first masts. At their moorings in the harbour, the numerous highly polished sailing and motor yachts of the rich and beautiful gently rock, A few small, colourful fishing boats provide a pretty contrast. La Cala was not always so handsome, however. Even during the Renaissance, Palermo's harbour did not have a good reputation. The balconies of the palaces near the harbour were deliberately built facing away from the bay so as not to have to look at the eyesore.
Until its restoration in 2008, this part of Palermo harbour was marred by shipwrecks, sewage pipes and an overall run-down ambience, this part of Palermo's harbour was not an inviting place, neither for the inhabitants of Palermo nor for tourists. In the meantime, the picture has changed considerably. Skippers with their own yachts moor at the Molo Sud, a needle-shaped extension of La Cala that juts out into the sea, visitors to the city enjoy visitors to the town enjoy the sunset at the harbour, and a large number of restaurants and bars have settled around the harbour basin, inviting you to linger and enjoy.
Be sure to visit the Open Air Bar NAUTO at the Nautoscopio. The Nautoscopio is a work of art created shortly after the restoration of the harbour. In the form of a ship's bow pointing towards the sea on a high pier, it symbolises Palermo's close connection with the sea. Secure one of the NAUTO's coveted seats, located below the artwork directly on the water and enjoy enjoy an aperitif on the terrace or with your feet in the sand on lounge furniture with a view of the yachts, ferries and passenger ships sailing in and out.
Especially in the evening, when the sun moves towards the horizon and a little peace and quiet returns to harbour life, this is the perfect place to wind down and reflect on the day. The bEATruck team satisfies small and large appetites with a delicious street food offer. Readings, live concerts, DJ sessions and exhibitions are also regularly scheduled, offering another highlight against this backdrop.
La Cala, translated as "little bay", is the oldest part of Palermo's harbour. It is connected to the newer part, the cruise port, by two piers. You can reach it easily via the waterfront promenade, the Foro Italico.
The promenade is largely made up of the rubble of Palermo's old town from the Second World War. Thrown into the sea, this resulted in a shift of the original coastline. Lawns were laid out on the new land, which is now used as a recreational area.
Between the two harbours is the Castello a Mare (Castle at the Harbour), a fortified castle that used to guard the entrance to Palermo's harbour bay, Kala.
Once you arrive at the cruise port of Palermo, you can watch the large passenger ships sail in and out. Due to its proximity to the old town, the ferry port is also always the starting point for day tourists. They swarm from there into the centre of Palermo and to the countless sights. The old town can be reached on foot, by romantic horse-drawn carriage or rattling tuk tuks or by public transport in just a few minutes.
Also popular are the sightseeing tours with the Hop On Hop Off buses, which have a stop directly at the harbour entrance. With the red convertible buses, you have the option of getting on and off at every sight along the route, while listening to the multilingual audio guides along the way. If you are still travelling without a map or need more information about the sights If you are travelling without a map or need more information about the sights, you will find it in the modern cruise terminal at the tourist information office.
The ferry port of Palermo connects the Sicilian capital with the Italian mainland, Tunis, Malta, Sardinia and the Lipari Islands, a Unesco World Heritage Site. As a visitor to Palermo, you can also take advantage of ferry trips around the island, small boat excursions or diving tours. Experience the fascinating water world around the island, explore the surrounding countryside or simply relax on board.
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