After decades of struggling to recover from the ravages of WWII, Palermo is experiencing a renaissance. New centres for culture and hip-and-happening bars are bringing youthful Italian energy to the city's crumbling baroque streets. Once just a gateway to Sicily’s beaches and historic hill towns, Palermo has become a place to party until the sun comes up. Follow this itinerary for a night of fun.
Stop 1: Negroni hour
For a classic negroni, head to the teeny Botteghe Colletti bar in the historic centre. Sip the orange cocktail while munching bruschetta and listening to the soothing sound of jazz and old-school soul.
Stop 2: Migrant food at Moltivolti
For a more substantial meal pull up to Moltivolti, just off Piazza Santa Chiara. At this cooperative restaurant, migrants work front and back of house to compose its hugely varied menu – think Senegalese mafé (stew) or cardamom-spiked lamb dopiaza. Visit on the right night and you might be treated to live African beats, too. Profits go towards rescuing refugees off the coast of Sicily.
Stop 3: Cannoli pit-stop
If you crave something sweet for dessert, take a walk north to Antico Caffe Spinnato, a 150-year-old shop dishing up scrumptious cannoli. Sit outside and watch people while munching on crisp pastry tubes injected with sweet ricotta cream.
Stop 4: Al fresco drinks
As Palermo’s streets really start jumping, head back to the historical centre, which offers a dramatic backdrop to late-night drinking and dancing. This is an irresistible spot for play-hard Palermitans who like to drink their birra in the open air and on any given night you’ll find half-a-dozen lively gatherings on the streets.
Stop 5: La Vucciria
As the night dissolves, head to the market La Vucciria, which transforms into a packed-out drinking hole after hours. At its heart you’ll find Taverna Azzurra – the oldest pub in Palermo. If you drop by here after midnight you can buy €4 Aperol spritzes and jump around to an eclectic jukebox of the good, bad and annoyingly catchy until the wee hours.