Monreale is on a hill (Monte Caputo) dominating the city of Palermo and overlooking what the ‘Conca D’oro’ (The Golden Shell), so called because of the orange trees.
Monreale is famous for its cathedral, a historical Norman-Byzantine building named in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monreale is a small village but very powerful in the past, as it used to be the King William II’s hunting place and decided to build a cathedral.
The Cathedral (Il Duomo), the church is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture, it was originally built in 1174 by William II of Sicily and in 2015 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most visited sites and considered one of the most important attractions of Sicily.
According to the myth, while the King of Sicily was taking a rest under a carob tree somewhere around Monreale, the Holy Lady appeared to him in a dream asking him to build a church there. A treasure was found under that particular tree, which was used to build the pay part of the building of the church. The church was consecrated in 1267 and in 1270 Luis IX King of France was buried there. The Cathedral was enriched with an external portico built by the sculptor Domenico Gagini in 1547 in Renaissance style. The inside is decorated with glass mosaics created by Venetian artisans (12th-13th century) following the Byzantine style. The Cathedral hosts the tombs of William I King of Sicily, his wife and two sons Henry and Roger.
You can’t miss The chiosc and the view from the Belvedere next to the Cathedral.
Eating and Drinking:
There are a number of places where to eat a simple quick meal or a long big one. All budgets are welcome. Besides all sorts of Sicilian goodies, particularly interesting cinnamon ice-cream, and the typical cookies made only in bakeries Monreale.
How to Get Around:
Monreale is reachable from Palermo by bus or by car. Once in Monreale, walking is the best way to enjoy the village.
Where to stay
Monreale offers a limited number of small hotels and a bigger number of Bed and Breakfast accommodations.Share this tour
+39 351 712 7512
Via Corrado Giaquinto 47, Palermo, 90143