Arabic, Norman, French, Spanish and Byzantine cultures have all left a lasting mark and continue to live side by side in Sicily’s fascinating capital, Palermo. Quattro Canti lies at the heart of the historical centre or Palermo, which spreads out around Piazza Vigliena, long known as the ‘Theatre of the Sun’ simply because the sun is always visible here, from dawn to dusk. The picturesque Arab quarter, known as Kalsa, was built near the sea during a period of frequent popular uprisings in order to allow the leader to flee in the event of a violent revolt. Kalsa today is a busy tangled web of characteristic streets and closely built houses. The next must-see stop is the beautiful park located just outside the city walls, the ‘Real Tenuta della Favorita’. The park was once a hunting reserve of the Bourbon King Ferdinando III, and contains a largely still intact villa ‘Casina Cinese’. The Royal residence is surrounded by a wonderful network of small tree-lined avenues in the ‘Parco della Favorita’, which was originally modeled on Ferdinando’s royal park just outside Naples. For a slice of Palermo life, you must explore the delights of the Vucciria market, which runs along Via Roma and Corso Vittorio Emanuele. This is the right place to breathe in the unique atmosphere of Sicily, enhanced naturally by the smells of seafood and a range of agricultural products, which might be attributed the title of courtesans to this Queen of cities.