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I think I've mentioned that I arrived in [poi = 111771] Palermo [/ poi], the capital of Sicily, on a flight from Tunisia. It was a pretty split decision of mine: Tunisia's over, I'm going to Sicily! So, within one hour I passed from the white and blue of Tunisia to the baroque of Sicily. Weird, but fascinating. Everything had been so fast that I had not had a chance to book a hostel. The only information we had was from the internet: there was an 'albergo' near Stazione Centrale that was supposedly pretty good. I had to look up the address twice: I could not believe that this huge 17th-century palace in abslute shambles hid a somewhat
decent hostel. But I rang the bell, asked if they had a room, and they said yes. Unbelievable. To get to the 'raw pianta' I had to climb a staircase 30 feet wide and 20 feet high. Red and white marble everywhere, lavish lamps, columns, amazing windows, remains of frescoes, gargoyles guarding doorways, peeling paint, statues in every corner. Decadent, that's the word, but also beautiful. The albergo was great. The inside is completely renovated, the rooms are immaculate and the service is friendly.
I was happy with the choice of hotel Del Centro in Palermo, considering I booked online, and I would be there for 7 nights. Its location is very good, as it's less than 5 minutes from the central railway station in Palermo (trains arrive and depart from the airport. All trains go to other parts of the island, as well as Naples and Rome), and most intercity buses (also the airport). But also in the historical center, and within minutes you arrive at the port, or cathedral, or the vast majority of attractions in Palermo. The hotel is located on Via Roma, a popular area, full of shops of clothes, but few restaurants and terraces (incidentally, on the street and a little further up there is a very good place to go for dinner), but you'll have to follow the tiny little streets ... Attendance at the hotel was very good for the entire stay, and everyone was quite friendly. English-speaking receptionists and a decent breakfast are included in the room rate. In the same building there is a Bed & Breakfast (on another floor), and it has Wi-Fi (you have to request the username and password, and you get up to 72 hours to use it, and the staff gives you new ones if necessary). There is also a computer with an internet, but I tried it one day and it was quite slow. All public areas are renovated and are very nice. The room I happened to have was more basic, and had high ceilings and a bathroom with a separate shower cubicle. Everything was very clean and the balcony overlooking Via Roma really sold me, I don't know about anyone else. Ah! balcony doors are refurbished and the insulation is good, although some traffic does tend to get through. Anyway, it's a good recommendation, but I advise making reservations online while looking for deals because the base prices are quite expensive and because according to the time of year, the types of rooms change. Ah! I noticed that the elevators are a little wobbly because when I arrived (April 2012) they were finalizing the last of the renovations, but everything looked good to me.
The Hotel Regina is located in downtown Palermo between the Cathedral and the Quattro Canti. The hotel has an elevator and the rooms include ceiling fans and attached bathrooms. It also offers shared budget rooms. Guests can access discounts at breakfast at the local bars. The hotel has 14 comfy rooms.
During our stay in Palermo, we stayed in this B&B located on the top floor of a classical building two blocks from Central Station and ten minutes walk from the cathedral. It's run by a family. The room was nice, and the location makes it ideal for exploring Palermo. A double room with bath cost us € 50, and included breakfast and wi-fi.