In the summer months, it sometimes seems as if the entire population of Palermo has packed a beach towel and a pair of D&G shades and decamped to this popular beach resort, 11km north of the city centre.

Originally a muddy, malaria-ridden port, Mondello only really became fashionable in the 19th century, when the city's elite flocked here in their carriages, thus warranting the huge Liberty-style pier that dominates the seafront and kicking off a craze for building opulent summer villas.

One can hardly blame them. Mondello's sandy coastline is gorgeous, with crystal-clear turquoise waters that are difficult to resist (and family friendly). Most of the beaches are private (two loungers and an umbrella cost around €15 to €22 per day), but there is also a wide swath of public beach crammed with swimmers, pedalos and noisy jet skis.

Explore Mondello

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Mondello.