Vipiteno – At The Idyllic Doorstep to Italy

Vipiteno – At The Idyllic Doorstep to Italy

Vipiteno – At The Idyllic Doorstep to Italy

Vipiteno is located in South Tyrol directly behind the Austrian border when you cross the Brenner Pass and is the northernmost town in Italy. I have been there regularly for a good 25 years. The reason for this is its ideal location. Because when I was little, we – that is, my parents, my brother and I – used to drive to Sicily every year by car, where my mother came from, and Vipiteno is perfect for a first stop on the way to the south of Bella Italia. But why you should spend more than just one night here, I’ll show you today:

Vipiteno – The Facts

Vipiteno has an incomparable charm – regardless of the season, it enchants its visitors. Even though I know the alpine town especially in the warm season, because we usually made a stop here when we went to Venice in May, to Verona in August or to Palermo in October, I assure you that the place is worth visiting at any time of the year.

Framed by the mountain panorama, picturesque shopping streets await you in one of the most beautiful old towns of the country with medieval churches and squares.

You love sports? Then go hiking on the Rosskopf, golfing on the golf course or skating in the ice rink. The high ropes course ensures fun and a high adrenalin level. Even though I now love to put on my hiking boots (which I did here), I am still more on the side of culture enthusiasts: The gothic churches and medieval castles leave me with a feeling of astonishment and reverence.

The good thing about Vipiteno? Here you can combine everything! So you have the perfect mixture.


Vipiteno – How to Get There

By train: Vipiteno has a railway station. You can get there via the Brenner/Brennero stop by changing trains.

By bus: From Innsbruck, for example, Flixbus takes you directly to Vipiteno in about 50 minutes. Prices start at 5.99 euros and there are three to five Flixbuses a day. This is certainly the cheapest alternative for a trip to Vipiteno.

By car: By car you can easily reach Vipiteno from Austria via the Brenner motorway. After you have crossed the border, you have to take the second exit. You can also take the first exit “Colle Isarco” and then follow the road along the river Eisack (Italian Isarco) to Vipiteno. If you choose this option, you will avoid the Italian motorway toll.

Vipiteno – My Highlights


Vipiteno, with its location in the South Tyrolean Alps, is a wonderful place for hiking. All around there are numerous hiking trails of every level of difficulty, making it suitable for young and old, young and old.

For example, the ride in the gondola up to the Rosskopf is recommendable. Up there, you can do everything your outdoor lover’s heart desires: hiking, mountain biking, stopping for a bite to eat.

I myself wanted to walk the Trenser Höhenweg with my father and my brother. The circular path leads over almost six kilometres from the pilgrimage church Maria Trens to the castle Sprechenstein and back again and is supposed to take about two hours.

Kirche in Maria Trens bei Sterzing

Maria Trens is, by the way, after Maria Weissenstein, the most famous place of pilgrimage in South Tyrol. Its popularity dates back to the 14th century.

Schilder Wandern Tirol

The trail is steep and partly leads over unpaved paths through the forest (attention: due to damp mud it was very slippery in some places), but in general I found it absolutely feasible and not exceptionally difficult.

Trenser Hoehenweg

If you’re lucky you can even observe animals here.

Rehe Tirol

The view was magnificent and I was already looking forward to the opportunity to stop for a bite to eat at the castle.

Unfortunately, one section of the route was too narrow for my father and on one side it went down steeply. I am grateful that he told me what this section had caused in him. Because with my mother’s death, 2019 had already caused enough misfortune to my family. Therefore, we didn’t want to ask too much of our guardian angels. So we’re turned around. Next time I would like to do the hike completely and then see the Sprechenstein Castle not only from below. But it’s not possible go inside.


Stopping by an Alpine Pasture

What could be better than to do something good for your body after or during a stimulating hike, to rest and enjoy a cool drink or to fill your hungry stomach? For this purpose, numerous alpine pastures await you along the hiking trails, which also reward you with a view that makes every hiker’s heart beat faster.

If you are not quite so fit, but still don’t want to miss out on a social stop, I have a great tip for you: The Prantner Alm is accessible by car. As my father did not feel physically fit for the hike, I was looking for an alpine pasture to which we can go by car. I quickly found the Prantner Alm, which is only 11 km but a good 30 minutes drive from Vipiteno.

Papi Klaus und ich Tirol

From the Prantner Alm you not only have a magnificent view of the Rosskopf and the surrounding mountains, but you can also feast to your heart’s content. I had a delicious Tris di Knödel – cheese dumplings in three different flavours.


Prantner Alm Ausblick



Castle Sprechenstein

The castle Sprechenstein is a place shrouded in legend. It is said that the ghost of a murdered knight haunts the castle, who once lived at Sprechenstein Castle with his beloved wife. The arrow that cost him his life is still in his heart. A knight who lived in nearby Reifenstein Castle killed him out of jealousy. There is no proof that the story is based on a true incident.

Burg Sprechenstein 2

Burg Sprechenstein

A striking feature of Burg Sprechenstein is the circular keep from the 13th century. The large hall and the chapel, dedicated to St. Erasmus, with its small winged altar, as well as the wall paintings and frescoes were created in later centuries. The castle and its works of art were hit by bombs during the Second World War and later restored. Since the end of the 18th century the castle Sprechenstein has been owned by the princes of Auersperg.

As mentioned in my article above, the castle Sprechenstein can only be seen from the outside.

For the sake of completeness it should be mentioned that Burg Sprechenstein is actually located in the neighbouring Freienfeld.


Castle Reifenstein

Southwest of Vipiteno, the imposing Reifenstein Castle looks down from a rocky hill. The castle first appears in historical documents in 1110, when it was given as a fiefdom to the nobles of Stilfes. In 1410 the ownership of Reifenstein passed to the Order of German Knights. In 1813 the order was dissolved and the Princes of Thurn und Taxis received the castle as compensation for the abolition of their postal monopoly.


Burg Reifenstein

The Gothic interior of the castle takes visitors back to the Middle Ages: the entrance gate is secured by a portcullis and the historic drawbridge leads across a moat. Balustrades and embrasures in the walls remind us of the numerous battles that took place here. Unfortunately, I could not enter, because this is only possible with a guided tour, which takes place at certain times. I stupidly missed the last guided tour on the only available day.

The castle is privately owned, but is open to visitors.

Opening hours: These vary from month to month. In principle the guided tours take place between 1 April and 31 October. As mentioned, the visit is only possible within the framework of a guided tour with at least 4 people.
This year (2019) the guided tours took place at the following times:
Sunday to Friday at 10.30, 14.00 and 15.00
Closed on Saturdays

Euro 7,00 (Adults)
Euro 4,00 (Children)

Further information:
Tel. +39 339 2643752,


Vipiteno – Hotel

For about 25 years now, when I stop over in Vipiteno, I have been staying at the Gasthof Hotel Larch. Actually it is located in the neighbouring Freienfeld–- just like the Sprechenstein Castle and the Trenser Höhenweg. The 4-star hotel is quaint, cosy and we feel very comfortable. You shouldn’t expect luxury, but a homely feel-good atmosphere. The food is prepared with fruits and vegetables from our own garden, the breakfast eggs come from the chickens in the stable behind the house and the yoghurt is homemade. With milk from cows from the mountain pasture – and lots of love. You can taste that and that’s why we have been coming back again and again for so many years.

Gasthaus Larch

If you prefer to book with Booking, you can find the available hotels in Vipiteno here: Vipiteno Hotels on Booking*.


Vipiteno – Where to go Next?

Venice: The city of bridges is always worth a visit. Whether for carnival or any other time of the year, Venice is touristic, but also has many quiet corners to offer. Meanwhile, I have already been there four times and it does not get boring at all. I always discover something new and am already looking forward to my next visit when I leave. Flixbus runs daily from Vipiteno via Innsbruck to Venice.

Verona: I have also been to Verona four times. But especially for a visit to the opera it is always worthwhile to take the way and spend a few days in this beautiful city. Flixbus runs several times a week from Vipiteno via Innsbruck to Verona.

Palermo: Palermo is my second home. Therefore I am a little bit prejudiced. But I think that everybody should have been at least once in the Sicilian capital. Culture, gastronomy, architecture or just enjoying the sun on the beach of Mondello… Palermo is not to be missed!


Final Thoughts

For me personally, Vipiteno has been the starting point for holidays for well over two decades. Almost all trips to Italy began here and sometimes, on the way back, they also ended here.

Barbara in Sterzing

For a long time my family, unfortunately, only stayed overnight there without exploring the area. I am glad that I now catch up step by step.

Have you ever been to Vipiteno? Have you only spent the night there or have you also looked at the surroundings? Let me know in the comments!

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Venice in a Day – Perfect 24 Hours in the Serenissima

Venice in a Day – Perfect 24 Hours in the Serenissima

Venice in a Day – Perfect 24 Hours in the Serenissima

My mother passed away on May 17th after a serious illness. On May 25th would have been her 62nd birthday, which she would have celebrated in Venice as it was her tradition. To honor her memory and to feel close to her once again, I went with my whole family to the Italian city of bridges over the weekend. Since we went there on Friday and back again on Sunday, we basically only had one day on site: May 25th.

Read here what we have seen and what you shouldn’t miss on a day in Venice:

Venice – From Serenissima to Mass Tourism

Until 1797, Venice was the capital of the Republic of Venice and until the 16th century even one of the largest trading powers in the world. Venice had the most merchant ships, but also warships, and was thus able to maintain its supremacy over the centuries. The city was incredibly rich, which is why we can still admire immeasurable cultural treasures in the lagoon city.


During this period Venice also received the title of La Serenissima Repubblica di San Marco (the most Serene Republic of Saint Mark). The title was initially given to the Doge – the ruler of Venice – and the nobles. After some time, however, it was extended to the entire republic.

Venice was incorporated into Italy in 1866 and has been the capital of the Italian province of Veneto ever since. It lies in the northeast of the country in the lagoon of Venice. Within this lagoon, there are 118 islands, of which only 11 are inhabited. The main island with the old town has 63,000 inhabitants, by far the highest number of all islands. Since 1987, both the city and the lagoon have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Today, Venice is more popular with tourists than ever before. Venice is on the bucket lists of travelers from all over the world and is also increasingly part of the itineraries of cruise ships. The new task is to master the balancing act between beauty and mass tourism.


Venice – How to Get There

  • By Plane: Venice has two airports. The city airport is called Marco Polo (the code is VCE) and is one of the busiest airports in Italy. The second one is about 40 kilometers away and is located near the city of Treviso (it has the code TSF).
  • By Train: Especially within Italy, traveling by train is cheap and fast. Venice’s train station is located at a vaporetto station, so you can get on a water bus directly if your accommodation is too far to walk to or if you want to start sightseeing immediately.
  • By Bus: Venice is easy to reach by bus and very well connected to other cities in Italy and all over Europe. I haven’t taken the bus to Venice yet, but I changed busses there already. I always use Flixbus.
  • By Car: This may seem strange at first, but since my parents came by car every single time, I want to add this possibility, too. If you drive over the Brenner Autobahn, you pay about 30 Euro motorway toll to Venice. From Mestre (one of two districts on Venice’s mainland) you drive over a bridge to the island of Tronchetto, where parking garages are waiting for the motorized visitors. These cost from 30 euros per day and you should reserve in advance. A pedestrian bridge will take you to the main island and you can either walk to your hotel or take a vaporetto – a water bus.

Venice – Sights

Since I only spent one day in Venice this time, my tips are focused on a day or weekend excursion with arrival on Friday and departure on Sunday.

The main island is the most touristic part of the city. There you will find famous sights like St. Mark’s Cathedral at St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace next to it, the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs Ponte dei Sospiri. Be prepared that all these sights are crowded during the day.


St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Cathedral and St. Mark’s Tower

Since you will hardly go to Venice and then skip St. Mark’s Cathedral, you will have to live with the crowd. If you want to avoid it, I have a tip for you though: If you, like me, go to St Mark’s Square at sunrise, you will basically have it almost to yourself!

Piazza San Marco

By the way, the tower is the bell tower of St. Mark’s Cathedral and is therefore also called St. Mark’s Tower. With 98 meters, it’s the highest building in Venice. Its top originally served as a lighthouse so that the ships could find their way safely to the lagoon’s harbor. In 1902 the tower collapsed after several earthquakes, but this was due to the fact that metal struts had been removed on the inside in order to build an elevator. The reconstruction, which used the original pile foundations that were 1000 years old but very well preserved, took nine years. The new tower was inaugurated on St Mark’s Day, on April 25th of 1913. Today, it is possible to go up to the bell tower via an elevator. But also this is still on my bucket list…


The Doge’s Palace

As already mentioned at the beginning, the ruler of the Republic of Venice was called Doge. The word is derived from the Latin word dux (leader). The first Doge was elected in 726. The Doge’s Palace next to St. Mark’s Basilica was the seat of government from the 9th century onwards and is still today a sign of the wealth, size and power of the lagoon city. This can be seen not only from the outside in the outstanding Venetian architecture but also in the stucco, gilded carvings and magnificent paintings inside. It is one of the most important Gothic secular buildings.


I must confess though, I’ve never been inside of the palace. Maybe I’ll change that during my next visit to the Serenissima.


The Bridge of Sighs

Also the Ponte dei Sospiri – the Bridge of Sighs – has a completely different effect in the early morning hours. The water lies smooth instead of being stirred up by gondolas that always glide past. If you’re there at 6am, you can even let your thoughts wander for a moment to the prisoners who long ago walked over the Bridge of Sighs and had a last look at the lagoon before they went to prison for the rest of their lives.

Ponte dei Sospiri

During the day, there is always a traffic jam of gondolas here since they start their tours through the small winding canals just around the corner.


The Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is one of only four bridges that cross the Grand Canal that separates the six districts called Sestieri: San Marco, Cannaregio, and Castello are on one side and Dorsoduro, San Polo, and Santa Croce on the other.

It’s so peaceful to sit at the Rialto Bridge at 6 am and take as many photos as you wish without bothering or being bothered by others.

Gondolas and Rialto

This is the view from the Rialto bridge in the late morning after the city and its visitors woke up:

View from Rialto



We took a vaporetto around 12 o’clock and went to the island Murano.


Murano 2

The island is famous above all for the art of glassmaking. In the early Middle Ages, glassmakers were banished to Murano because the people of Venice were afraid of the fire. Since then, the precious glass has been produced here and has become world famous.

Murano Glass

My mother loved the Murano glass and wanted a chandelier for our living room. I would like to fulfill this wish posthumously sometime.



Even if we didn’t have a lot of time left, we didn’t want to miss a visit to the island Burano. Around 3 pm we took a vaporetto which takes about 30 minutes to go from Murano to Burano. The colorful houses are simply too beautiful to miss. If you’re looking for a peaceful place away from the crowds – maybe this is the place to choose.


Burano 2

Burano 3

What is the art of glassmaking in Murano is the lace in Burano. Here you can see elder ladies making lace. This is the main theme in every shop. Whether decorative items or clothes… Here everything is made of white cloth.

Burano Lace

Burano Lace Cloths

My mother loved to dig her way through the shops here and it wasn’t until her last visit that she got hold of an embroidered painting of “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt, which hangs in our living room. It was a strange feeling when my father showed us exactly where she had bought it.

Around 6 o’clock we made our way back towards the main island. There we planned to do one of the highlights of the day:


A Gondola Ride in Venice

Yeah, it’s kitschy. But shouldn’t a little kitsch and cliché be on the agenda in a city like Venice? I do think so!

The prices for a gondola ride are as far as I know the same everywhere and not negotiable: At all gondola stations of the city, there are signs with prices saying that the small tour (called Giro Turistico) costs 80 Euro until 7 pm and afterward 100 Euro. The so-called Giro Completo costs 120 Euro or 150 Euro.

Gondelfahrt Venedig

With a little luck like us, you will catch a gondolier, who was singing a traditional song about love and longing. Simply beautiful!


Venice – Hotel

During the weekend we stayed in this hotel: Hotel Santa Lucia. The hotel is small, but nice and is only a few minutes walk from the train station or the multi-story car parks. But it is a long way to St. Mark’s Square. Still, in my opinion, the price-performance ratio was right. We paid 540 euros for two rooms with a total of five persons and two nights including breakfast.

You want to see other accommodation options for Venice? Check out these platforms: Booking*, Tripadvisor*, Airbnb* or Hostelworld*!


Venice – Where to go Next

Venice is ideal if you want to explore Italy further or if you want to travel further to the southeast of Europe. Here are a few examples of the cities that would work well:

  • Milan: Milan is the perfect destination, especially for shopping fans. But also culture enthusiasts will enjoy the Cathedral of Milan or the Scala.
  • Verona: The home of Romeo and Juliet is an ideal place for a weekend trip. Even if you are not an opera lover, the Arena di Verona is absolutely worth a visit. The atmosphere is unique and it is a very special experience.
  • Florence: In 2009, I spent half a year in Florence. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it back there to write an article about this beautiful city that is definitely in my top 3 Italian cities – with Palermo and Rome!
  • Ljubljana: The Slovenian capital is a pearl of peace. From here you can either explore Slovenia or travel further south. For example to Rovinj.
  • Rovinj: I fell in love with Rovinj when I was there for a week last year. The charming old town on its own peninsula is simply picturesque and the sunsets are a dream. From Venice, you can either take the FlixBus to Rovinj or a ferry. Alternatively, do it like me and go on a motorcycle road trip through Croatia.

And even if this is not just around the corner, as a half Sicilian I would like to mention my favorite island: Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and an absolute beauty.


Venice – Final Thoughts

For my family and me, this was a special and important journey where we experienced the places my mother loved so much and visited every year on her birthday. On the one hand, it was a farewell for us, but on the other hand, it also showed that we can feel close to her at any time by going to her favorite places.

But Venice is always worth a visit. I have been there three times now and even if it is crowded and in many corners anything but clean, I feel Venice is an absolute must-see in Italy and even in Europe. I continue to be impressed every time I stand in front of St Mark’s Basilica, walk through the many alleys across the bridges or take a vaporetto across the Canal Grande admiring the old walls from the water. The city is and remains unique and I hope to travel there many more times.

Yours Barbara

Palermo Guide for Digital Nomads

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Barbara in Rovinj


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My Most Beautiful Sunset Part 4 – Isola delle Femmine

My Most Beautiful Sunset Part 4 – Isola delle Femmine

My Most Beautiful Sunset Part 4 – Isola delle Femmine

One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen was in Flores in Guatemala!

I’m completely in love with sunsets! I can’t get enough of seeing them and watching photos of them! And probably one of the reasons to become a digital nomad was to be able to see more beautiful sunsets over the ocean and to choose from where I want to work by picking the best sunset spots around the world…

That’s why I started a new series of blog posts with my most beautiful sunsets!

Here is part one: Sunset in Cabarete

And part two: Sunset in Angkor

This is part three: Sunset in Flores!

One of the most beautiful sunsets: Isola delle Femmine in Italy!

Since my mother is from Palermo I know this area quite well. But I had never seen the sunset in Isola delle Femmine. It was just last year when I went there with a cousin of mine.

Isola delle Femmine Autobahn

You just get off the highway A29 Palermo-Mazzara del Vallo at Isola delle Femmine. When you drive over the bridge you’re already at the beach. Have a stroll along the promenade or just admire the beautiful sea. This is the perfect beach for you if you want to surround yourself with locals!

Isola delle Femmine means the Island of Women. The abandoned building on the small island reminds us of the past: It was a jail exclusively for women.

But today, the only thing that is left is its name.

But the sunset was one of the most gorgeous ones I’ve ever seen.

Sonnenutnergang Isola delle Femmine

Walk on your right along the promenade! After a while, you will reach this part with no sand, but just harsh rocks. You will see this almost hostile landscape when the tide is low. It’s a perfect place to take photos.

Palermo Guide for Digital Nomads iPad

As a Digital Nomad in Palermo

Sicily’s capital has everything a digital nomad needs. That’s why I created this guide that is giving you all necessary information to have a blast in this Italian city!

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The most beautiful places in the north west of Sicily

The most beautiful places in the north west of Sicily

The most beautiful places in the north west of Sicily

During my last stay in Palermo I tried to see my second home more like a traveler and less like a local. Part of this was that I went to different tourist places close to Palermo (two hours by car max).

I decided to present you four of the destinations!



Cefalù is a super touristy town. So you shouldn’t prepare for a relaxing stay. There are always many people around and especially if you want to go to the beach you gotta know that you will not have a lot of privacy.

Cefalù Strand und Altstadt

Cefalù is still worth giving it a try. The Old Town is like a fairy tail town! The Cathedral is just beautiful and gives you an awesome view over the Piazza. 

Blick durch einen Torbogen auf den Strand von Cefalù

Altstadt Cefalù

Kathedrale Cefalù außen

You should definitely go and see the cloisters of the Cathedral as well! Especially on hot summer days the will give you shade and fresh air as well as some peace you will not find in the crowded city.

Barbara Kreuzgang Kathedrale Cefalù.JPG

Most of all around Ferragosto, one of Italy’s most important holidays on the 15th of August, locals and travelers will come to Cefalù to celebrate. Although it’s crowded it’s still a must see for every Sicily-traveler.


Mazara del Vallo

The town Mazara del Vallo is located 55 Kilometer south of Trapani. It’s a 2 hours bus ride from Palermo.

At the Tourist Information in Palermo the said it’s not worth going to Mazara del Vallo. There is nothing to see. Luckily I am a bit stubborn so this made my desire to go there grow. And in the end I was simply blown away by the beauty of this small city. Most of all I loved the big and small details:

The stairs with the tiles…

Mosaiktreppe in Mazara del Vallo

The quotes on this stone (“Peace begins in the Heart of all Human Beings” in different languages)…

Spruch in Mazara del Vallo

The Arco Normanno, which was so beautiful in the light of the summer sun…

Mazara del Vallo

The church that is ruin…


The Cathedral built in 1086 by the Normans and restructured in the 17th Century as a baroque building…

Kathedrale in Mazara del Vallo von außen

Kathedrale in Mazara del Vallo

The square with the arcades that is bringing shade during the hot Sicilian summers…

Arkaden in Mazara del Vallo

Do you understand now why Mazara del Vallo simply enchanted me?



Marsala was exactly the other way round: Everybody told me to go there so in the end I was a bit disappointed. Of course! There are really nice spots in Marsala, but in total I have to say that I enjoyed Mazara del Vallo much more. See the Cathedral as an example (from the inside and from the outside – like in Mazara del Vallo):

Kathedrale Marsala

Kathedrale Marsala von innen

What I liked best about Marsala was the atmosphere. It’s typically mediterranean. Take your time to have a stroll around the Porta Garibaldi and the streets of the Old Town! 

In einer Straße von Marsala

The Parco Archeologico was really disappointing, too. The highlight were the mosaics, that you could see from above. I did my daily live vlog from there.

Mosaik Parco Archeologico Marsala

In the middle of the Old Town and the Archeological Parc there is a another place to have a stroll: a Giardino – a public garden or park.

Figur im Giardino Marsala



Terrasini is easy and quickly to reach from Palermo. The center is cute, but pretty small with a square in the middle where you will find restaurants and the Cathedral.

Kathedrale Terrasini

Locals know Terrasini for the “ugly” statues.

Hässliche Statue Terrasini

Brunnen mit Statue Terrasini

Brunnen mit Wasserhahnstatue

Tourists on the other hand side go to Terrasini because of the really nice beaches and the caves along the coast.

Terrasini Strand

Grotte Terrasini

I admit: I had never been to the center or the beaches of Terrasini before. When I was a child my family came here quite often because of the Ristorante Il Pirata where you can have really good fish and sea food. That’s why I was smiling when I passed this restaurant on my way to the places that I wanted to see for this blog post.

So if you ever go to Palermo I suggest you do both: During daytime you enjoy the beach and discover the beautiful caves of Terrasini. In the evening you will have dinner at Il Pirata thinking of me while eating delicious clams. Deal?


Did you like my blog post about the most beautiful places in the north west of Sicily? Or have you been to another place that I didn’t mention? Then tell me about it in the comments!


Yours Barbara

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Palermo Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in Europe? You should check out Palermo in Italy!

Ausblick vom Monte Pellegrino auf Palermo



Popeye Village Malta



Venedig 3



Palermo – Why the Sicilian Capital is a Must See When in Europe

Palermo – Why the Sicilian Capital is a Must See When in Europe

Palermo – Why the Sicilian Capital is a Must See When in Europe

Palermo is my second home. So I always had a kind of different point of view on the city. More like a local than like a tourist.

During my last stay though I tried my best to see the Sicilian capital through different eyes. I went to explore places that I hadn’t seen since I was a child. By that time why just went there – me and my family – to check that. Now, 20 years later, I took a look again at the beautiful historic places. I did some day trips as well. I will tell you about them in my next blog post.

Palermo - Barbara Giardino

But today’s blog post is only about Palermo!

via maqueda geschmueckt

What do you need to see, to do, to explore? I’ll tell you in a minute!

Let’s immerse into that wonderful world that is a mixture of different cultures, that left their tracks.

Influenced by the whole world

Palermo and Sicily belonged during Centuries to different peoples. All of them left parts of the own culture which became part of the following and so on until Sicily’s very own and special culture ended up existing. You can hear it, feel it, see it.

Palermo vom Ambasciatori

Hear it… because there was an impact on the language. Yes, exactly. I said language not dialect! Sicilian is not an Italian dialect, but a very own minority language. In Palermo people speak Palermitan which is a Sicilian dialect by the way, not an Italian one.

Feel it… because Palermo just feels differently than the rest of Italy. It may be the climate which is giving Palermo around 8 months out of 12 of summer. The other 4 are spring. Or it could be the typical south Italian happiness. But I can assure you that being in Italy feels different.

See it… because in contrast to the architecture in the rest of Italy the buildings in Palermo have strong influences of the Arabic and Norman style. So they differ drastically from other cities like Florence, Milan or Rome.

palermo arabisches gebaeude


kathedrale mit mehr gruen

My 5 Favorite Places in Palermo

#1 Piazza Pretoria

Piazza Pretoria von oben

Piazza Pretoria or Piazza della Vergogna (Square of Shame) is located directly in the heart of the historic center. The epithet comes from the naked statues that surround the fountain in the middle of the square. Next to it there is the Town Hall of Palermo. I always liked the fountain with the funny story of its name.

#2 Teatro Politeama

Politeama Palermo


The Teatro Politeama is making me smile every time I see it. Although the Teatro Massimo – the biggest opera in Italy – is way more impressive with its size and history, I often find myself sitting in front of the Politeama, but never in front of the Massimo thinking of whatever comes to my mind.


#3 Monreale

Monreale von innen


In the small town of Monreale, high up in the mountains next to Palermo, there is a Dome. It’s impressive from the inside and from the outside.

Monreale von außen compressor

The special thing about it is that people used gold leaf to decorate the whole area of the altar which is creating an extraordinary golden light and the impression of power. It was used as a model and copied in a smaller version for the chapel of the prince Federico II. in the Palazzo Normanni (the Norman Palace in the city center of Palermo, where the princes of Palermo resided).

#4 Monte Pellegrino & Santuario di Santa Rosalia

Foto aus dem Auto

On the Monte Pellegrino there are two Highlights waiting for you:

On one hand side there is the sanctuary of the patron Saint of Palermo, Santa Rosalia. It is built into the mountain so the main part of the Sanctuary consists of fieldstone. The light is therefore artificial which is creating a really special atmosphere.

Kirche Santa Rosalia

Santa Rosalia

The second highlight is along the street. If you arrive by bus to the Monte Pellegrino, you will need to walk around 29 minutes to walk there. By car it’s a 5 minutes drive. It’s a big platform at the edge of the mountain where you have an amazing view over Palermo. From the other side the view is good as well, but I am not sure about what it is that you see. It’s not Mondello I think.

Ausblick vom Monte Pellegrino auf Palermo

#5 Mondello

Mondello Palermo

Mondello is a village, a former fishing village, which has become one of the most touristy places of Palermo. In high season you can’t even move here. Because everybody wants to get some sun at one of the most beautiful beaches of Italy and go to one of the famous restaurants with the freshest fish and the best sea food.

I love coming here in October when it’s not that crowded anymore, but it’s still super good weather. I just stroll along the promenade then and watch the Monte Pellegrino.

From this side, the mountain looks like a sleeping dog (have a close look and you will see it in the photo). That’s why I was always fascinated by it – sind I was a child.

When do you fly to Palermo?

Could I convince you of the unique beauty of Palermo? Just hit the reply button if you have some more questions! If not: Safe travels!

Yours Barbara
Palermo Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in Europe? You should check out Palermo in Italy!


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Spots to Work in Palermo and Surroundings: My Top 3

Spots to Work in Palermo and Surroundings: My Top 3

Spots to Work in Palermo and Surroundings: My Top 3

My favorite spots to work in Palermo…. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out which ones to write about. In the last weeks that I’ve spent in Palermo and surroundings, I got most of my work in those three places done. The Coworking Space was my favorite spot, because WIFI is simply the best in the city, the location is perfect and the people there are amazing. I loved going to the Roof Top as well though and always called it my “happy place”. The beautiful view over Palermo made me smile every day again and again. The third spot where I spent a lot of time in front of my computer was the beach bar Ombelico del Mondo. Although the WIFI wasn’t working all the time, the view made me come back as often as possible.

You want to learn more about Palermo as a destination for digital nomads? Then check out my new ebook: Palermo Guide for Digital Nomads!

#1 PMO Coworking

PMO Coworking is – surprise! – a Coworking Space. It’s located directly round the corner of one of the two opera houses, the Politeama. The location is ideal… There are bus stops two minutes from the Space, which is in the middle of a pedestrian zone with many restaurants and cafés.

The Space has fast and stable WIFI (for Palermo…), a comfortable lounge area and a meeting room in case you need some more privacy for example to do a Skype call.

PMO Coworking Sitzecke

PMO Coworking Meeting Room

#2 Hotel Ambasciatori

The Hotel Ambasciatori is a 4-Star-Hotel in the Via Roma, not even 10 minutes walking distance to the Central Station of Palermo. The bus number 101 is passing by every 5 minutes and stops directly in front of the door. Isn’t that super practical?

On the seventh floor you will find the roof top terrace of the Hotel called SEVEN. They have a Restaurant and a Bar up there. The WIFI is not really the best, but the view is making up for everything. For me this is one of the most inspiring places ever! In this place I wrote for example my Palermo Guide for Digital Nomads.

Roof Top Ambasciatori

Ausblick vom Ambasciatori

#3 Beach Bar Ombelico del Mondo

I do admit there are two big disadvanteges of working here :

  1. You can never be sure that WIFI is going to be stable! Some days I was really lucky having super fast and stable WIFI like in Germany. But htere were days as well where I had to stop after a very short time and leave to search for another place.
  2. From the city center you need almost one hour to get there. With the bus number 806 you can go for example from the Politeama for about 40 minutes along the entire Libertà (one of the main streets), over the Favorita (the street connecting Palermo with Mondello) to Mondello.


Still it was one of my favorite places to work at, because working at the beach is simply making me happy… And this is something that you can definitely do here!

Which one would be your favorite place? Are you more the Coworking kind of worker or do you prefer Roof Tops or Beach Bars? Tell me about it in the comments!
Yours Barbara

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Ausblick vom Monte Pellegrino auf Palermo



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