Atmospheric, vibrant, exciting, Palermo is the capital of Sicily, and its location is just as thrilling as the atmosphere you'll enjoy there. It may be a surprise to learn this but, because of its strategic position at the heart of the Mediterranean, between the 9th and 12th centuries, it was the most important city in Europe and was a major crossroads for trade. Much of what you will find there was rebuilt in the 16th and 17th centuries and the city is still based around the five main quarters of Quattro Canti, Albergheria, Capo, Vucciria and La Kalsa which are divided by a central crossroads.