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exterior view of the station today

Palermo Centrale

Palermo Centrale is a class example of a head station located in the heart of a city, in piazza Giulio Cesare, with 52 thousand users passing through it per day, giving a total of some 19 million per year, and 250 train per day.

History

Exterior view of the station in 1900 - photo from FS archives
Built in 1885, Palermo Centrale is one of the oldest Italian stations still in use. Its monumental front is typical of the eclectic architectural style popular in Palermo towards the end of the 19th century, with classical and renaissance elements reworked in the interior decoration, in the wrought ironwork, in the cut stones from Bagheria and Cinisi and in the furnishings of the salons and waiting rooms.
The identity of the station’s designer is still unknown, but the architectural approach shows the nfluence of Ernesto Basile and his school. The original structure, which was destroyed during the last war, featured a large iron and glass canopy roof with elegant lines, supported by sickle-shaped trusses, that extended over the tracks.
Although it still retains its architectonic unity, elegnce and fine proportions, the quality and functionalism of the complex have been impaired by the elimination of the canopy roof and a series of discontinuous alterations carried out between 1950 and 1960.

Present situation

View of the ceiling decorations in the entrance hall
It consists of several levels:
• the basement floor houses utilities systems, technical rooms and stockrooms;
• the ground floor is the track level, and houses various traveller services and commercial businesses;
• the mezzanine floor is occupied by offices and stockrooms;
• the upper floors are used for offices, stockrooms and railway structures. 

The island in the centre of the main hall is a recent addition, and is currently occupied by the ticketing counter and a restaurant.

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