Palermo - the capital of Sicily - is a destination with a difference. The city is a treasure trove of original monuments and works of art, combined with architecture of grand proportions. Yet it also has a grittier side, shown by the continuing influence of the mafia. Jeremy Dummett here provides a concise overview of Palermo's eventful history, together with a survey of its most important monuments and sites. He looks at the influences of the city's various ancient rulers - the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Normans - as well as its more recent incarnation as part of the Italian state. In addition to being an essential companion for visitors to Palermo, this book can be equally enjoyed as a standalone history of the city and its place at the heart of Sicily.