Monte Pellegrino

The mountains and surrounding sea make Monte Pellegrino in Palermo a wonderful tourist attraction.
On a Sunday afternoon, downtown Palermo can seem a bit deserted.
If you’re wondering where everyone has gone, you need only to look up the Via Pietro Bonanno toward Monte Pellegrino.
There, a steady snake of traffic will let you know that the locals have gone for a picnic at their favorite getaway.
Nestled in the shade of Monte Pellgrino, Palermo locals frequently take advantage of the green escapes of the large nature park that encircles the mountain proper.
They go both to enjoy a bit of nature away from the downtown zone and to pay homage to their favorite patron saint. Santa Rosalia has her sanctuary atop the mountain, and its only fitting to pay one’s respects.
Santa Rosalia is credited with having saving the city from a deadly plague, and she is known to the locals as La Santuzza, or their “Little Saint”. She lived most of her life in a cave on the mountain, praying for the souls of the city after she retreated there in 1159. In 1624, her purported remains were uncovered, and they are housed in a small chapel built around her cave home.
Inside the chapel, there is a small statue of Santa Rosalia from the 17th century.
Looking at it, you may feel a sudden speck of damp. The roof of the cave drips water along a special steel cobweb designed for drainage, and it is considered good luck to be dripped on as the liquid is believed to be miraculous.
Even if you are not of a religious mindset, it is well worth the nine mile drive from town up the mountain just to see the views.
From Monte Pellegrino pictures can be taken of the whole of Palermo, the vast stretches of the Golden Shell Valley, or the rich blues of the Tyrrhenian Sea. You’ll get postcard worthy vistas and the perfect self-portrait to share with the folks back home.
If you want to picnic like a local, there are plenty of places. Parking can be an issue at time, but there is bus service available. Bus 812 leaves from Politeama, and it is about a 30 minute ride to the top.
Ambitious hikers can also walk to the mountain.
To get to Monte Pellegrino, Palermo walkers should proceed to the Fiera del Mediterraneo grounds and look for the stepped path that runs all the way to the top of the mountain.