Formerly a medieval vigil tower built in the 13th century, it was turned into a belfry tower of the Church of San Nicolò all’Albergheria in the 16th century. It stands in the district of Albergheria and is surrounded by the open air market of Ballarò. It is now a very nice place to enjoy a beautiful view of the city of Palermo.
It’s not so common to have a view of the city of Palermo from the top. Especially in the historic centre of the city, and this is why this tower is so special.
Located a few steps from the main train station and from one of the main city streets you can reach this place by having to go through the 1,000-year-old open-air market of Ballarò: founded by Saracen and is still alive. A place overflowing with beautiful fresh fish, vegetables, meat and cheeses, very loud vendors, narrow medieval streets, old churches and an ever-wet ground.
Wandering around the market you will find a wider space and here you will find the Tower of the Church of San Nicolò in the Albergheria District. The tower is now the belfry of the church but was formerly a medieval vigil tower built in the 13th century, turned into a belfry in the 16th century. The church itself is worth a visit even if in my own opinion, it is nothing special. To get into the tower costs only 1,50€, and you go up the very narrow steps that allow people only to go up or down before arriving on the terrace of the tower and from this spot you can enjoy “the most beautiful view of the city” as they say in a poster hanging on the tower.
On one side there’s the cathedral and the Capo Market, on the other side, the historic centre facing the sea, then the Albergheria district, the mountains surrounding the city, the Ballarò Market from on high and quite everything of the ancient city.
Another cool thing is that on the tower there is so much silence that you forget that you are in this chaotic city, but this feeling lasts only until the time you have to go down to the mess of the market.