Italy (SISM) - Palermo
Anatomy Biochemistry Chemistry Dermatology Dermatovenerology Emergency Medicine Epidemiology Forensic Medicine Geriatrics Gynaecology/Obstetrics Hematology Immunology Infectious Diseases Intensive and Critical Care Internal Medicine-Cardiology Internal Medicine-Endocrinology Internal Medicine-Gastroenterology Internal Medicine-General Internal Medicine-Hematology Internal Medicine-Invasive Cardiology Internal Medicine-Nephrology Internal Medicine-Noninvasive Cardiology Internal Medicine-Pulmonary Internal Medicine-Rheumatology Internal Medicine-Tropical Medicine Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Neurology Oncology Ophthalmology Otorhinolaryngology Paediatrics Paediatrics-Cardiology Paediatrics-Endocrinology Paediatrics-Neurosurgery Paediatrics-Oncology Paediatrics-Pneumology Paediatrics-Surgery Pharmacology Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physiology Physiotherapy Primary Care Radiology Radiotherapy Respiratory Medicine Surgery-Cardiothoracic Surgery Surgery-Cardiovascular Surgery Surgery-Gastrointestinal Surgery Surgery-General Surgery-Hand Surgery Surgery-Head and Neck Surgery Surgery-Maxillo-facial Surgery Surgery-Neurosurgery Surgery-Orthopedics Surgery-Plastic Surgery Surgery-Shoulder & Elbow Surgery Surgery-Thoracic Surgery Surgery-Transplantation Surgery Surgery-Vascular Sugery Traumatology Urology, Tropical Medicine
Santi Romano Hostel
at the student hostel
Stephanie Alfano Gabriele Pagano
Benvenuto, Welcome, Bienvenidos, Bienvenue, Wilkommen, Boa vinda, Welkom, Witajcie
The faculty of medicine of Palermo is placed in the hospital “Policlinico Paolo Giaccone”. Our hospital is dedicated to a man, a doctor, Paolo Giaccone, specialized in forensic medicine, killed by the mafia on 11th August 1982, when he was 53 years-old-man. His guilt: just doing his work, against threats of mafious. He was killed right in front of the Department of Forensic medicine where now there is a memorial tombstone. He represent for us a good example to do our work in the best way, following right values, against a local society, often hard to beat.
We make some clinical rotations also in another hospital, A.R.N.A.S. “Civico-Di Cristina-Benfratelli”, one of the most important in the Southern Italy.
Availables Departments
Policlinico “Paolo Giaccone” : - Cardiology - Dermatology - Emergency - Endocrinology - Gastroenterology - General Surgery - Haematology - Infectivous Disease - Neurology - Ophthalmology - Orthopedics - Otorhinolaringoiatry - Psychiatry, is preferred speaking Italian - Radiology - Urology
A.R.N.A.S. “Civico-Di Cristina-Benfratelli”: - Gynaecology - Plastic Surgery - Paediatrics: it’s placed in a children hospital, Ospedale G. Di Cristina, located in a different place from the rest of this hospital but also close to the dormitory.
PRECLINICAL STUDENT: Our teacher accept for clinical departments also medical student that aren’t in clinical years.
Work conditions
Your clinical/surgical practice will be developed during the morning from Monday to Friday. You’ll be obliged to bring your own white coat and stethoscope or the green coat for surgical department. Afternoons and weekends are free and usually spents for Social Program.
Not available at the moment

The place where we host all our incoming is a student dormitory the “PENSIONATO UNIVERSITARIO SANTI ROMANO” ,Viale delle Scienze, Edificio 1 - 90128 Palermo, located in the the University Campus of our University and situated quite close to the two Hospitals, the “Policlinico “P. Giaccone” and A.R.N.A.S. “Civico-Di Cristina-Benfratelli”, where our incomings do your medical practice.
Your room is available from the first Monday of the month to 28th August (28th night is not included), so if you’ll come before or leave later you have to accommodate yourself on your own, but asking us in advance we’ll help you to find a cheap place. There are single and double room with shared bathrooms and showers each floor. Rooms aren’t airconditioned. You don’t need to bring sheets for your bed, we'll provide for them, but not for your towels and pillow.


.Just in the groundfloor of the dormitory there is the University Canteen. You will receive a meal each day (Lunch), except in the weekend. All our incomings students will be given a student card which with they can have free lunch ( from Mon to Friday) and dinner and lunch during weekend for 5 € at the canteens of University. The Canteen of University, by dinner, become also a Pizzeria and they cook a really tasteful Pizza. Moreover, close to the dormitory there are some cheap market, popular market and bars.


By plane

In Sicily there are three different airports where you can arrive: Palermo, Trapani and Catania. The first two airport are very close to Palermo

1)Palermo - “Punta Raisi/Falcone e Borsellino Airport” from this airport you can reach the inner city by train or by bus. The train linkung Palermo to its airport is called Trinacria Express . One way costs 5.50 € and trains depart roughly every hour. It takes more or less 40 minutes. There are many stops but getting off at ORLEANS station and following indications to Viale Delle Scienze exit, you’ll be just few meters far from the student dormitory where we host incoming students. You can also catch a bus (provided by “Prestìa e Comandè” Company) from the airport (but we recommend train), and it will take you in a big square called “Piazza Giulio Cesare”, very close to the Central Railway Station. The price is around 5.60 €. Buses depart roughly every 30 minutes from the airport to the central railway station, from 6.00 a.m. until 12.00 p.m. (midnight)

2)Trapani – “Birgi Airport” it is meanly a Ryanair airport. Catching a direct bus from Trapani-Birgi Airport you can arrive to Palermo, close to the Central Railway Station. This trip is provided by “Autoservizi Salemi” or by “Terravision” .

3) Catania - “Fontanarossa Airport” you can reach Palermo by bus, provided exclusively by “SAIS Autolinee” company. You can buy one way ticket for 13.90 € or return ticket (A/R) for 22.20 €. Ticket office is into the airport. The bus will take approximately 2.40 hours, and carry you directly from Catania Airport to Palermo Central Railway Station.

By train or bus

- National direct trains to Palermo leave from Naples, Rome, Milan and Turin, but these trains stop also in other main cities where you can get them. Anyway it is a very long and hard trip. Just from Rome to Palermo is more than 12 hours.

- To come to Sicily by bus there are national and international bus company. National bus company is “SAIS autolinee” that link Sicily to many Italian regions. The main run is from Rome (close to Roma Tiburtina train station). But also by bus you would do a long trip.

Both Train and bus arrive near or inside the Central Railway Station.

By ship

Palermo has an important port where arrive ship from Naples, Livorno, Genoa, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Tunis. Coming by ship could be useful for Tunisian because with this way there are no problem related to luggage weight or number. It could be useful, also, to whom would like to come by car avoiding cross of all Italian Peninsula.

 Anyway the best and cheapest way to reach Palermo is by Plane


Our Local Committee is famous all over the world for the Social Program and we are proud of it. Our Social Program aim to lead you through culture, society, art and nature of our Sicily, providing always tons of fun.

For sure, you’ll enjoy many choices of entertainment. We organize parties, disco nights, and some tours along tipical Sicilian cities and towns like Cefalù, Alcamo, Marsala, Agrigento. We also organize “national parties”, with typical food, music and drink: we heartily recommend you to bring with you something proper from your country (alcohol, food, music, etc.).

In order to organize an amazing social program, we ask your cooperation, hoping you will be understanding if everything won’t be perfect: don’t forget we are students as you, not a trip agency.

In order to join the social program incoming students have to pay a fee for all the month.


Palermo has a large architectural heritage and is notable for its many Norman buildings.
Palermo Cathedral.
San Cataldo's Church.
Chiesa della MartoranaPalermo Cathedral: Its long history has led to the accumulation of different architectural styles, due to additions, alterations and restorations, the last, was in the 18th century. The cathedral is located at Corso Vittorio Emanuele, corner Via Matteo Bonello.San Giovanni dei LebbrosiSan Giovanni degli Eremiti (St. John of the Hermits): Located near the Palazzo dei Normanni, this 12th-century church is notable for its bright red domes, a residue of Arab influences in Sicily. In his Diary of an Idle Woman in Sicily, F. Elliot described it as "... totally oriental... it would fit well in Baghdad or Damascus". The bell tower, with four orders of arcaded loggias, is instead an example of Gothic architecture.Chiesa della Martorana: Also known as Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (St Mary of the Admiral), the church is annexed to the next-door church of San Cataldo and overlooks Piazza Bellini in central Palermo. The original layout was a compact cross-in-square ("Greek cross plan"), a common south Italian and Sicilian variant of the middle Byzantine period church format. The three eastern apses adjoin directly the naos, instead of being separated by an additional bay, as was usual in contemporary Byzantine architecture in of the East.[25] The campanile, richly decorated with three orders of arches and lodges with mullioned windows, still serves as the main entrance to the church. The interior decoration is elaborate, and includes Byzantine mosaics.San Cataldo: This church, on the central Piazza Bellini next to the Martorana, exemplifies Norman architecture.Santa Maria della GanciaSanta Maria della Catena: This church, was built in 1490–1520 using designs by Matteo Carnilivari; the name derives from the chains (Italian: catena) once attached to one of the walls, which were used to close the Cala port.San Giuseppe dei Teatini: Located near the Quattro Canti, it is an example of Sicilian Baroque in Palermo.Oratorio di San LorenzoOratorio del RosarioSanta Teresa alla Kalsa derives its name from Al-Khalisa, an Arab term meaning elected. The church, constructed in 1686–1706 over the former emir's residence, is one of the most outstanding examples of Sicilian Baroque. It has a single, airy nave, with stucco decorations from the early 18th century.Santa Maria dello Spasimo was built in 1506 and later turned into a hospital. For this temple Raphael painted his famous Sicilia's Spasimo, now in the Museo del Prado of Madrid. The church today is a fascinating open-air, which occasionally houses exhibitions and musical shows.Church of the Gesu (Church of the Jesus): The church, located in the city center, was built in late-Renaissance style by the Jesuits in 1564, over a pre-existing convent of Basilian monks. Alterations starting in 1591, added features of Sicilian Baroque. The church was heavily damaged after the 1943 bombings, which destroyed most of the frescoes. The interior has a Latin cross plan with a nave and two aisles, characterized by a particularly rich decoration of marbles, tarsias and stuccoes, especially in the St. Anne's Chapel. At the right is the Casa Professa, with a 1685 portal and a precious 18th century cloister. The Church is now home to the Municipal Library, placed here in 1775.The church of St. Francis of Assisi was erected between 1255 and 1277 in what was once the market district of the city. It was built at the site of two pre-existing churches and was largely renovated in the 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th centuries, the latter after an earthquake. After the 1943 bombings, the church was restored to its Mediaeval appearance, which now includes part of the original building such as part of the right side, the apses and the Gothic portal in the façade. The interior has a typical Gothic flavour, with a nave and two aisles separated by two rows of cylindrical pilasters. Some of the chapels are in Renaissance style, as well as the late 16th century side portals. The church includes precious sculptures by Antonio and Giacomo Gagini and Francesco Laurana, plus a noteworthy wooden choir dating from the 16th century. Of note are also the allegorical statues by Giacomo Serpotta (1723), also author of the stucco decoration.Church of the Magione: Officially known as the church of the Holy Trinity), This church was built in Norman style in 1191 by Matteo d'Ajello, who donated it to the Cistercian monks.Palaces and museums
Palazzo dei Normanni, seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly.
Piazza Pretoria.Palazzo dei Normanni, one of the most beautiful Italian palaces and a notable example of Norman architecture, probably built over an Arab fortress. It houses the famous Cappella Palatina.Zisa (1160) and Cuba, magnificent castles/houses used by the kings of Palermo for hunting. Similar buildings were common in northern Africa, but today these two are the only ones remaining. The Zisa houses the Islamic museum. The Cuba was once encircled by water.Palazzo ChiaramontePalazzo Abatellis, with the Regional Gallery. It was built at the end of the 15th century for the prefect of the city, Francesco Abatellis. It is a massive though elegant construction, in typical Catalan Gothic style, with Renaissance influences. The Gallery houses an Eleonora of Aragon bust by Francesco Laurana (1471) and the Malvagna Triptych (c. 1510), by Jan Gossaert and the famous Annunziata by Antonello da Messina. The exposition in the museum has been designed by the architect Carlo Scarpa.The Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas is one the main museums of Italy: it includes numerous remains from Etruscan, Carthaginian, Roman and Hellenistic civilizations. It houses all the decorative parts from the Sicilian temples of Segesta and Selinunte.

City Walls.Palermo has at least 2 circuits of City Walls - many pieces of which still survive. The first circuit surrounded the ancient core of the punic City - the so-called Palaeopolis (in the area east of Porta Nuova) and the Neopolis. Via Vittorio Emanuele was the main road E-W through this early walled City. The eastern edge of the walled City was on Via Roma and the ancient port in the vicinity of Piazza Marina. The wall circuit was approximately Porto Nuovo, Corso Alberti, Piazza Peranni, Via Isodoro, Via Candela, Via Venezia, Via Roma, Piazza Paninni, Via Biscottari, Via Del Bastione, Palazzo dei Normanni and back to Porto Nuovo.
City Wall at Corso Alberto
City Wall at Via Del BastioneIn the medieval period the wall circuit was expanded. Via Vittorio Emanuele continued to be the main road E-W through the walled City. West gate was still Porta Nuova, the circuit continued to Corso Alberti, to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele Orlando where it turned east along Via Volturno to Piazza Verdi and along the line of Via Cavour. At this North East corner there was a defense, Castello a Mare, to protect the port at La Cala. A huge chain was used to block La Cala with the other end at S Maria della Catena (St Mary of the Chain). The sea-side wall was along the western side of Foro Italico Umberto. The wall turns west along the northern side of Via Abramo Lincoln, continues along Corso Tukory. The wall turns north approximately on Via Benedetto, to Palazzo dei Normanni and back to Porta Nuova. Source: Palermo - City Guide by Adriana Chirco, 1998, Dario Flaccovio Editore.
Several gates in the City Wall survive. Images of the City Wall can be see here [26]
Opera houses
Teatro Massimo opera house.
Politeama theatre.The Teatro Massimo ("Greatest Theatre") was opened in 1897. It is the biggest in Italy, and one of the largest of Europe (the third after the Opéra National de Paris and the K. K. Hof-Opernhaus in Vienna), renowned for its perfect acoustics. Closed for renovation from 1974 until 1997, it is now carefully restored and has an active schedule. Enrico Caruso sang in a performance of La Gioconda during the opening season, returning for Rigoletto at the very end of his career. It is the largest theater in Italy and the third largest in Europe (8000 sm) .The Teatro Politeama was built between 1867 and 1874Squares[edit]Quattro Canti is a small square at the crossing of the ancient main roads (now: Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda) dividing the town into its quarters (mandamenti). The buildings at the corner have diagonal baroque façades so that the square gets an almost octagonal form.Piazza Pretoria was planned in the 16th century near the Quattro Canti as the site of a fountain by Francesco Camilliani, the Fontana Pretoria


Local transportation

Free Time
Among hours spent at the hospital and the various activities of Social Program, you’ll have free time in which you can do several things to spend it. Firstly, Palermo has rocky and sandy beaches!! Those are easily reachable from the dormitory.
While, if you would like to spend free time in another way staying in the city centre Palermo is full of things to see as you can read above or in whichever touristic guide. Also in this part of the city there a lot of nice shops, where you can find something very cheap, considering that in August there are sales.
Otherwise, you could plan some trip to discover nearby places, which aren’t included in the Social Program’ Excursion, but that worth absolutely a visit. So if you feel like going somewhere else around Sicily and you need advices about it, we’ll help you. We ‘ll be happy to suggest you iteneraries, events and special location.
We suggest you to try typical sicilian food! Sicilian cuisine will surprend you! Once you tried our cuisine it will be hard forget it, but also find it “overseas”!
Here we just write about some typical meals letting you imagine the taste.
Rosticceria (Rotisserie). Exist a large variety of rosticceria, however the most famous and appreciates are: “calzone” fried or baked, filled with ham and cheese, “pizzetta” a little deep-dish pizza, “rollò” a brioche filled with a wurstel
Arancina: golden breaded pomes of rise. There two principal types: ‘Aranciana alla carne’ stuffed with meat and peas, and ‘Aranciana al Burro’ stuffed with butter, ham and cheese. You absolutely must try it!
Pane cà meusa: a filled roll with fried spleen and lung of beef and grated parmesan. For very Sicilians only!
Panino con le panelle: a roll filled with “panelle”, made of fried chickpea-flour.
All these foods above could be considered like a Sicilian Fast Food
Cassata: is a typical sponge frosted cake filled with a delicious ricotta cheese cream, and decorated with marzipan and candled fruit Frutta martorana: it is a dessert consisting of a large variety of fruits made with marzipan and decorated to look as real fruits. Cannolo: it’s a typical Sicilian dessert filled with ricotta cheese cream and decorated with orange peel and candled fruit. Brioche col gelato: a unique way of eating icecream Pasta con le sarde: pasta with sardines and fennel
Local weather and what to wear
There usually are very hot summers here. It’s not so unusual to reach 45°C with a very high humidity tax. Temperature in August is very high, especially  during the morning and the afternoon. Choosing Palermo you can’t forget swimsuit, towel and solar lotion. Some evening it could be fresh so, bring with you also something warm.
We recommend to bring some euros with you before coming here or changing just the necessary at the airport Bureau of exchange and then in Palermo at the Bureaus of Exchange or Banks (we recommend the last one). We strongly recommend you NOT to take a taxi. Usually it costs about 50 euros (or more) and we think it’s not a good idea to spend so much money