Shopping in Palermo
Modern Palermo has plenty of opportunities for avid shoppers. This is Italy after all: expect brands from Sisley and Stefanel to H&M, Zara, Mango, Louis Vuitton and Hermes. But when shopping in Palermo, it also pays to dive into its bustling markets, which have been influenced by the city's Muslim past.
If you want to buy pupi (puppets), head for Corso Vittorio Emanuele where several workshops are located. Designer gear can be found along the smart Via Libertà, which is lined with Italian and European labels such as Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermés, Prada, Furla and Louis Vuitton. Antique and arts lovers should head to Corso Alberto Amedeo, while the best ceramics can be found down Via Nicolò Gallo, Via Daita and Via Isidoro La Lumia.
Immerse yourself in the best of the city's atmosphere at the Vucciria Market, between Via Roma and Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Make sure you get there early in the morning to see the market at its liveliest. Open Monday to Saturday from dawn until 1400, it sells all kinds of wares from fresh seafood to souvenirs and local handicrafts. Other good markets include Borgo Vecchio, which stays open until the evening; the Piazza Peranni market for antiques; and Ballaro for those who love street food.
Forum Palermo, Via Filippo Pecoraino, is Palermo's largest shopping centre with 120 shops, restaurants, cafes and a cinema. La Rinascente, Via Roma, 289, is home to a number of excellent independent shops.
Most shops will open at 0930 and close for lunch at about 1330. They reopen again at 1600 until about 2000. Bigger stores remain open throughout the day.
Puppets, painted pottery, and copperware and tinware bought along the ancient Via Calderai all make excellent keepsakes.
Value added tax is 22%. Travellers from outside the EU can claim back sales tax on purchases over €155 if they have bought from shops displaying the 'tax free' shopping sign.