Four Corners (Quattro Canti)
Officially called Piazza Vigliena, Quattro Canti was built in the 17th century at the crossing of Palermo’s two principal thoroughfares, an important feat of urban planning at the time. The square is octogonal, with four streets forming the sides, and four curved palace facades marking the corners. Each palace boasts an ornate fountain with statues representing the four seasons, the four Spanish kings of Sicily, and the four patron saints of Palermo.
To best appreciate the architecture, visit this important square with a guide as part of a Palermo walking tour or shore excursion. Most walking tours of Palermo’s historic center stroll through the square and visit other top attractions like the Duomo, Royal Palace, and Massimo Theater. Otherwise, you can join a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and explore the square and other sights independently.
Things to know before you go
- Walking tours of Palermo require a significant amount of time outdoors, so wear sunscreen and a hat in summer.
- Touring the historic center requires quite a bit of walking, so wear comfortable footwear.
- There is heavy traffic in the square, so visit with caution.
- The square is accessible to wheelchair users, though the passing cars make it a challenge to navigate safely.
How to get there
The Quattro Canti is located in Palermo's historic center, within walking distance from the port and train station. You can reach Sicily from mainland Italy by ferry, train, or plane.
When to get there
Because of its flow of cars and buses during the day, try to visit the Quattro Canti during quieter early mornings or late afternoons.
Palermo’s Four Historic Neighborhoods
The Quattro Canti mark the entrances to Palermo’s four most historic neighborhoods with statues of their patron saints: Albergheria to the south, guarded by Santa Cristina di Bolsena; Capo to the west, guarded by Santa Ninfa; La Loggia to the north, guarded by Santa Olivia di Palermo; and Kalsa to the east, guarded by Sant’Agata.
- Capo Market (Mercato di Capo)
- Massimo Opera House (Teatro Massimo)
- Zisa Castle (Castello della Zisa)
- Opera Dei Pupi (Rod Marionette Theatre)
- Politeama Garibaldi Theater (Teatro Politeama Garibaldi)
- Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)
- Branciforte Palace (Palazzo Branciforte)
- Vucciria Market (La Vucciria)
- Palatine Chapel (Capella Palatina)
- Piazza & Fontana Pretoria
- Church of the Gesù (Chiesa del Gesù)
- Ballarò Market (Mercato Ballarò)
- Capuchin Catacombs (Catacombe dei Cappuccini)
- Mirto Palace House Museum (Palazzo Mirto Casa Museo)