Normans loved Sicily!
EXCTAO-palazzo normanni

Meet the rest of the participants at the nearest pick up point to your hotel and depart for Palermo: visit the Palatine Chapel in the Royal Palace. The chapel was commissioned by Roger II of Sicily in 1132 to be built over an ancient chapel (now the crypt) around 1080. It took 8 years to build and much more to decorate with mosaics and works of art. The sanctuary, dedicated to Saint Peter, is reminiscent of the basilica with a dome. It consists of three apses, as is usual in Byzantine architecture, with six pointed arches (three on each side of the nave) resting on classical columns reused.
The mosaics of the Chapel are of unparalleled elegance proportionally enlarged. They are distinguished by subtle modulation of color and light. The oldest parts are probably those covering the ceiling, the drum and the dome. The brilliant mosaics of the cruise is supposed to be dated 1140 and are attributed to Byzantine artists, illustrate scenes from the Acts of the Apostles. Each composition is part of an ornamental structure, not very different from these used in the icons of contemporary mosaic. We continue with a visit to the cathedral, and with a panoramic view to the city.

EXCTAO-mercato palermo 2Continue to Cefalù : visit to the town on the northern coast of the island. Visit the cathedral and the city center . Of Greek origin, the city certainly took its name from the location on a high rock, forming a large promontory ( Κεφαλὴ ) projected sea. But despite its name denotes its Greek origin , there is no mention of the city in Thucydides , who expressly says that Himera was the only Greek colony on this coast of the island;Cephaloedium probably was at the time merely a fortress ( φρούριον ) belonging to Himeran , and was probably inhabited by refugees for the first time after the destruction of Himera . His name appeared for the first time in history at the time of the Carthaginian expedition under Hilmicom 396 BC, when the General concluded negotiations with the Himeran and the inhabitants of Cephaloedium . But after the defeat of Carthage , Dionysius the Elder proclaimed himself head of Cephaloedium , which fell into his hands (ibid. 78. ) . In later times we find it independent again , but apparently in peace with Carthage, on behalf of which , however, was attacked and conquered by Agathocles , 307 a. C.. During the First Punic War it was conquered by the Roman fleet under Atilio Calatino Nasica and Scipio , 254 BC but because of betrayal and not by force of arms. Cicero describes it as a prosperous city , which enjoyed every national privilege : it was at the time one of the civitates decumanae who paid the tithes of the grain to the Roman state , and suffered heavily oppressions and exactions of Verres. It was also home to the issue. During the Byzantine era , the factory was moved from the plain to the current spur , although the old city was never completely abandoned . In 858 , after a long siege , it was conquered by the Arabs and renamed Gafludi . During the following centuries was part of the emirate of Sicily.

In 1063 the Normans captured her and King Roger II of Sicily, Cefalu became a city almost inaccessible to the foot of the fortress and began the construction of the cathedral. Between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries , the city stiede under the rule of various feudal families and later was converted into possession of the Bishops of Cefalù.

Time at leisure and return to Taormina



Departure time: 07.00 AM (at the nearest pick up point to your hotel)

Duration: 8 hours

Entrance fees are not included

Lunch is not included


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