Where to Shop in Palermo, Sicily

Did someone say “souvenirs”? Colourful ceramics, affordable, Sicilian-made jewellery and an eclectic offering of books from Europe’s largest outdoor library await in Palermo.

The pistachio green shop front of Malaspina Trombetta


Malaspina Trombetta

Ethical yet affordable jewellery store Malaspina Trombetta has two outlets in Palermo: this one, close to the cathedral, on Via Vittorio Emanuele, and another nestled between designer boutiques on pedestrianised Via Principe di Belmonte. The independent jewellery brand works with coral conservation charities to source second-hand coral and support regrowth initiatives. All of its jewellery is made either in Sicily or elsewhere in Italy.


Via Vittorio Emanuele 231, 90133

Ceramics on sale in the streets of Palermo


Tre Erre Ceramiche

No trip to Sicily's artisanal capital would be complete without bringing home a souvenir of brightly patterned ceramics, one of Palermo's most famous exports. If the red-lipped testa di moro ceramic heads are too much to cram into your suitcase, opt for a classic bowl or serving platter. With their hand-painted citrus fruit and vibrant floral prints, they'll take your tablescaping up to Laura Jackson-levels. You'll find ceramic stores throughout the city, but Tre Erre Ceramiche is a family-run business stocking the best quality at reasonable prices.


Via Roma 358, 90139

Handmade raffia bags hanging in Vito Torretta


Vito Torretta

A woven Dolce & Gabbana coffa bag jangling with pompoms will set you back upwards of £2,500, which makes the customised versions at Vito Torretta seem a downright bargain at £66. What's more, it's quite possible D&G were actually inspired by this historic outlet on Via Aragona, or at least shops just like it. Don't be perturbed by the uninviting shopfront (it looks like a hardware store). Step inside and choose your bag size, select your pompoms, frills and charms, then come back to collect your bespoke bag the following day.


Via Aragona 15, 90133

Books in a street


Pietro Tramonte’s Outdoor Library

Retired accountant Pietro Tramonte's eccentric bookshop-come-library is a must-visit while in Palermo. A warren of streets lined with approximately 50,000 books, it is one of the largest outdoor bookstores in the world. New titles are constantly being donated, and some real treasures can be picked up or exchanged through a barter system if you're willing to rifle. You'll often find Pietro himself sitting there, jovial and bespectacled, leafing through a dusty copy of something or other.


Via Monte Santa Rosalia 18, 90133

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