The Porta Nuova

Only in a city as ancient as Palermo could a construction known as the “New Gate” date from 1583. Found adjacent to the Norman Palace, the Porta Nuova is still the main entrance to the city center from the west.

Porta Nuova Palermo

In general, Palermo isn’t the the most pedestrian-friendly city, but walking through the Porta Nuova is absurd. The sidewalks disappear inside the gate, and two lanes of traffic are squeezed together, making drivers even more irritable than normal. As a walker, you have to peer around the side of the cement and make a run for it at the slightest gap.

Once safely through the gate, you’ll likely want to run into the nearest bar and do a shot of whiskey, but take the time to turn around and admire the facade it presents to voyagers on their way into Palermo. Underneath a pyramid-shaped roof, four Moorish statues support the gate. These represent the Moors defeated by Charles V in his war on the Ottoman Empire.

Despite the mortal danger of passing through it, the Porta Nuova is one of our favorite bits of architecture in Palermo.

Location on our Palermo Map

Palermo Porta Nuova
Gate men Palermo
Angel Porta Nuova Palermo
Busts Porta Nuova Palermo
Porta Nuova Palermo walk

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Isabella Davis

    Gorgeous entrance! Am presently viewing a documentary about the Monarchy and this fits right in with some of the amazing history.It ooks a bit tight in the driving lanes no doubt! LOL .Thanks again fellows as always for your amazing contributions ,humor and images.I have truly learned a lot and gone to places I’ve never even heard of!My best wishes for the New Year and much fun on your travels!Best Wishes ,IsaBella

  2. Davide

    ehehe :)I agree is not the walker friendliest city in the world… but I risk more walking around London than Palermo!

  3. Fulvio

    Just one word; Magic!!!

  4. You couldn’t have said it more accurately when you called it absurd in the fact that the sidewalk disappears inside the Porta Nuova.  I’ve actually been through that many times.  You do have to be careful, but actually on the side heading towards the port you will see the beautiful Cathedral (Norman style) of Palermo and it is a straight walk down to the Quattro Canti (four corners).  In the other direction, there really is not much reason to walk past the Porta Nuova, as there are less attractions.  That way will take you to Monreale, which you would need to drive or take a bus.  Larry

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