Inside Europe’s ‘grumpiest city’ despite beautiful beaches loved by tourists

A wide-ranging survey has looked into the quality of life in European cities in 2023 and how happy are locals with the local government, environmental quality and services available to them.

The Quality of life in European cities analysis carried out by the European Union found that overall satisfaction across European cities remains high, with almost nine out of 10 people reporting being satisfied with living in their city.

Many will be excused if they think the grumpiest city across Europe could be located in a cold area, far from the turquoise seaside.

But the survey found people living in Palermo, the capital of the Italian island of Sicily, are the least satisfied across the continent.

A total of just 62 per cent of respondents from the seaside city are satisfied with living in Palermo, which boasts Europe’s second-largest historical centre.

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On the other end of the charts, Zurich in landlocked Switzerland is the city that scored the highest level of satisfaction among its residents – a whopping 97 per cent.

The survey unveiled the major areas of concern for those polled in Palermo, including public transport and corruption.

Only 22 per cent of the respondents disagreed with the statement “there is corruption in the local public administration”. Another issue related to local government concerned the “timing to get a request solved”, with only 13 per cent of those polled saying they were satisfied.

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When it came to public transport, only 26 per cent of those surveyed agreed with the statement “public transport is frequent”. Asked to share whether they thought public transport was “reliable”, 18 per cent agreed.

The economy is also proving a sore point for most people in the city, with only four percent saying it is easy to find a job in Palermo.

Despite Palermo being a stunning city boasting a large number of UNESCO sites and white sand beaches, many lamented the level of cleanliness, with 6 per cent of those polled saying to be satisfied with it.

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Palermitani, as people from Palermo are known, are on the other hand rather happy with their housing situation, with 63 per cent of those polled saying housing is affordable in the city.

The city is also deemed quite inclusive, with 70 percent agreeing it is a “good place to live for LGBTIQ people” and 66 per cent giving a similar answer for immigrants.

Palermo overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea and counts several city beaches, including the Romagnolo Beach, an area popular with noble families in the area since the 1800s.

Another major attraction in Palermo is the hundreds of churches dotted around the city as well as its traditional food, which ranges from pastries to seafood.

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