Cities to Watch 2021: Explore our virtual tour of Palermo

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As some of us emerge from lockdown and dream of an escape, our Travel Editor Joanna McGinn calls out Palermo as a rising star among inspiration destinations.

While travel may be on pause for many, it doesn’t stop the desire to escape, plan and dream, especially for those who crave inspiration as part of their creative work. Every year, the WGSN City by City team selects our global list of Cities to Watch and for 2021, it’s less about the latest must-visit and more about resilient and escapist yet liveable spots for ‘workations’ or flexible lifestyles.


Italy’s Palermo is one such city on the rise. Accelerated by the pandemic and the remote working movement, the Sicilian capital has seen an influx of creatives, attracted by affordable rents, year-round sunshine, direct flights to Europe, a growing music and art scene, and excellent street food, from arancini to spleen sandwiches.

Palermo octopus

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For local flavours, Antico caffè Spinnato is the go-to place for Granita and brioscia (local brioche), while the Baroque Chiesa Immacolata Concezione is a maximalist haven and stunning beaches such as Mondello and Cefalu’ are located a stone’s throw away for cooling down in the summer.

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If you’re a WGSN subscriber, find out more about Palermo and our other Cities to Watch on the site.

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