Discovering the Sicilian Capital!

Departure from your hotel to Monreale to visit the Cathedral and the Benedictine cloister. The Cathedral of Monreale is one of the greatest existant examples of Norman architecture in the world. Its construction began in 1174 by William II, and in 1182 the church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was, by the bull of Pope Lucius III, elevated to the rank of a metropolitan cathedral. The church is a national monument of Italy and one of the most important attractions of Sicily. The archbishop's palace and monastic buildings on the south side were large and magnificence, and were surrounded by a huge wall, crowned at intervals by twelve towers. This was largely rebuilt and today little remains except the ruins of some of the towers, a good part of the monks' dormitory and the splendid cloister, completed around 1200.

Continue to 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.




Departure time: 08.30 AM (at your hotel)

Duration: 4 hours

Entrance fees are not included

Lunch is not included



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