Few places in the world can match Palermo's alluring mystique. Sicily's largest city is flanked by rocky peaks and straddles an azure sea along the rim of the Conca d'Oro and the Gulf of Palermo. At street level, the Sicilian capital is a busy and exciting metropolis that reflects 3,000 years of history as the Mediterranean's most important cultural crossroads. Its urban fabric is rich with baroque palaces from the Bourbon reign, mosaics, museums and colorful outdoor fish markets. Unlike any other, the city straddles past and present and north and south.