Palermo is the capital of the island of Sicily. The city is known for its historic buildings, like the Cattedrale di Palermo and the Norman Palace, plus the Ballarò Market. Quatro Canti, officially known as the Piazza Vigliena, is a baroque square in the historic center of Palermo. It’s a great central point to get to all the major monuments of the city. Traffic in general in Sicily can be a bit chaotic so just make sure to keep an eye out for signs around the city. In the center, there are many parking spots reserved for residents only (ZTL) and it may be a bit difficult to park a Palermo car rental for free near the main monuments. However, there is normal on-street parking marked with blue lines where there are parking meters for your passenger van rental. There are about 50 car rental locations in Palermo throughout the city and at the airport.
While visiting, is it worthwhile to rent a car while visiting Palermo?
Palermo is a walkable city and it’s easy to get to all the famous monuments. Parking is easier the further out of the city center you go, and you can just walk from there. However, there is much more to the Palermo area than just the city center. With a car rental in Palermo, you can get around Sicily comfortably and at your own leisure. There are many cheap car rentals in Palermo, especially if you pick them up at the airport. Monreale is the easiest day trip, just on the outskirts of Palermo and about a half an hour away. The Monreale Cathedral is a recognized UNESCO landmark. Erice is a medieval town overlooking the port city of Trapani and less than a two-hour drive away. The historic town dates back to the Phoenicians and wandering the cobblestone streets takes you back in time.
What different driving laws should I keep in mind while driving in Palermo?
In Italy, they drive on the right-hand side of the road and they also use the metric system. Remember this since the road signs will indicate speed limits and distances in kilometers. When choosing a car rental in Palermo, you may want to opt for a small European economy car rental to get around the winding roads of Sicily. Keep your eye out for the ZTL (Zona Traffico Limitato) zones in the center of Palermo. They are meant for residents only and there are cameras that will catch you in the act. If you have a drink, you will be considered "under the influence" with a BAC of 0.05% or more. In other words, with more than one glass of wine or beer. Please look up Palermo’s department of motor vehicles for any possible updates.
Will I need a special driver’s license or permit to drive a rental car in Palermo if I’m visiting from another country?
When picking up your rental car in Palermo, you will need the following documents: a credit card in your name and a valid driver’s license held for at least one year. If you are visiting from out of Italy, car rentals in Palermo may require that you present your passport as well as an International Driver’s Permit. The IDP must be acquired in the country of origin of your driver’s license.