The Phoenicians founded Palermo as a trade port in 700 BC, and a long string of rulers followed. Carthage was the first to conquer it, followed by the Romans, who named it Panhormus. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Vandals took over, followed by Arabian rulers who turned Sicily in to an emirate. Palermo transformed in to a magical city with mosques, minarets and markets. It is said that its beauty measured up well with Cordoba and Cairo. During the crusades, the city’s wealth was discovered by the Normans who conquered the city, but continued building on the Arabian legacy of tolerance and enlightenment. That era is known as "the Golden Years". Today tourists are discovering a city with an exciting mix of medieval areas where washing is still hung on lines between buildings to elegant residential districts with palm trees and palatial villas. A city with stunning historical sights, just waiting to get explored and many which are located in the city centre, making it easy to reach. Palermo, with its culture, history, food and energetic atmosphere has become a popular destination and even if you would spend months here, you still would not experience all of her charms.