Cattedrale di Monreale

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Cattedrale di Monreale: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Palermo: Monreale and Cefalù Half-Day Trip

1. From Palermo: Monreale and Cefalù Half-Day Trip

Escape the hustle and bustle of Palermo city center on a half-day tour to Monreale and Cefalù. Marvel at a Norman cathedral on the slopes of Monte Caputo, and learn the Greek and Medieval history of one of Sicily’s most beautiful towns. Following a pick-up from your hotel or the port of Palermo, transfer to Monreale where you will have approximately 1-hour to tour the Duomo. An official audio guide is included to learn the history of the 12th-century building, considered one of the greatest landmarks of medieval ecclesiastical architecture in the south of Italy. Then, drive along the north coast of Sicily, on route to the beautiful town of Cefalù. Sit back and relax on the 1.5-hour journey, and on arrival go to the 12th-century Duomo. See traces of the Middle Ages at the Osterio Magno. Get panoramic views from the Porta Terra. Discover Greek and Arabic pottery in the Mandralisca Museum, and walk down some curving stone steps to a picturesque cluster of 16th-century wash basins at the Lavatoio.

Monreale: Guided tour of Cathedral, Monastery and Mosaics

2. Monreale: Guided tour of Cathedral, Monastery and Mosaics

You'll take a guided tour of Monreale, which is just 5 kilometers from Palermo, at 310 meters above sea level on the hill of Mount Caputo. The visit will start from the cathedral, the symbol of the town, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage monument in 2012. The cathedral is undoubtedly an architectural masterpiece of the 12th-century, in which different styles are linked together: the architecture of northern Europe, Romanesque art and Arabic art. Outside, it is richly decorated by two bronze doors, the first from Bonanno da Pisa and the second by Barisano di Trani, who also sculpted the doors of the cathedrals of Ravello and Trani. The interior is illuminated by magnificent gold mosaics that culminate in the Christ Pantocrator in the apsidal basin as the highest expression of figurative art. Your tour continues with the visit to the ancient Benedictine monastery and cloister, which flank the cathedral, and a look at the beautiful sight overlooking the valley and the golden basin of orange and citrus groves.

Palermo, Monreale and Mondello Private Tour with Street Food

3. Palermo, Monreale and Mondello Private Tour with Street Food

On this full-day tour visit the magnificent sights in the city of Palermo before moving on to the town of Monreale, where you will visit the fabulous cathedral. Finish off the day with a visit to the beach resort of Mondello. Your private chauffeur will first take you into the center of Palermo to explore its magnificent sights. Here you will visit Ruggiero VII Square (Piazza Politeama), the Theater Massimo, Quattro Canti (Piazza Vigliena), the Royal Palace and the Palatine Chapel – a beautiful chapel representing the best example of Arab-Norman art. After seeing the interesting sights in Palermo, visit the town of Monreale. Here you can admire the magnificent cathedral and cloister, one of the most stunning Norman churches.  Also visit Mondello, a popular beach resort near Palermo which was originally a small fishing village. Here you can enjoy the sight of the small fishing boats before returning to Palermo port, train station, or city center in the late afternoon. This tour will introduce you to some of Palermo's renowned and diverse, local street food.

From Palermo: Cattedrale di Monreale Private Tour

4. From Palermo: Cattedrale di Monreale Private Tour

Enjoy this 2-hour guided tour which will take you to the beautiful town of Monreale, about 45 minutes car drive from Palermo. There, you will visit the majestic Cathedral of Monreale, considered the finest example of Norman architecture in Sicily and one of the most impressive architectural legacies of the Italian Middle Ages. The work was begun in 1174 by William II, and in 1182 the church, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, was, by a bull of Pope Lucius III, elevated to the rank of a metropolitan cathedral. Nowadays, its size is 102 meters (334 feet) long and 40 meters wide (131 feet). It is, however, to a large extent (6,500 m2) the impressive glass mosaics covering the interior which makes this church so splendid. With the exception of a high dado, made of marble slabs with bands of mosaic between them, the whole interior surface of the walls, including soffits and jambs of all the arches, is covered with minute mosaic-pictures in bright colors on a gold ground.  Follow the steps of your expert guide, learn about the fascinating history of this cathedral and explore its beautiful geometric garden. Ready to enjoy a truly stunning gem of Italian, and particulary Sicilian, architecture?

Other Sightseeing Options in Cattedrale di Monreale

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What people are saying about Cattedrale di Monreale

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 188 reviews

Our lodging in Palermo changed due to Covid and we had to change our pick up location last minute. We were accommodated and were picked up promptly. Our driver Marco was very knowledgeable and gave us the history of the area and Sicily along the way. Monreale was unbelievable and Cefalu is simply paradise. We were given ample time to explore each of the areas. We would definitely recommend this tour.

Highly recommended excursion! Really deserving visits to Monreale and Cefalù, with adequate times both for self-exploration, both for lunch and for a little relaxation. A special mention for the guide Joshua, a very kind and smart guy who during the trip told us many anecdotes and curiosities, and also offered us traditional cannoli. It was a pleasure!

Joshua is the guy to go for. Above and beyond. Super knowledgable Hilarious stories and overall amazing guy! Can't recommend him more. Montreal Cathedral is probably the most beautiful cathedral ever and the waters at Cefalu were incredible. Along with the food in both. Super easy overall.

as usual, Marco was a delight to be with on the tour. Very upbeat guy and his knowledge is unsurpassed. The sites were great to visit.

Michael was very helpful, the whole tour was amazing! Totally worth the budget