Palermo and Monreale
Palermo, under the name of Balerm, was made the capital of the Emirs of Sicily. Reports by travelers of the time placed its many mosques, palaces and irrigation plants on a par with those in Baghdad and Cordoba. The population increased to 300,000, with Arabs, Jews, Greeks and Negroes rubbing shoulders with the original native inhabitants.
Amongst the monuments worth seeing in Palermo, the Cathedral ranks first. It was begun in 1184 by order of Archibishop Gualtiero Offamilio (Walter of Mill), on the site of a previous Muslim building. We will admire the Royal Palace (only from outside) or called Normans', residence of Sicilian Parlament and the Fontana Pretoria (Praetorial Fountain) of 1500 placed in Pretoria square. Very important are Massimo Theatre, one of the greatest and enchanting theatre of all Europe, and Politeama Theatre both neoclassic. We will also visit the Church of the Martorana. It preserves the fascinating Arab style and is topped by red domes.
After a quick lunch we drive up to Monreale, a picturesque little town located just outside Palermo. This town is exceptional for its pleasant natural setting, the beauty of its panorama over the Conca D'oro and the spledour of its art treasures.
Tourists gather from all over the world to admire its magnificent Cathedral (and the Cloister): a unique masterpiece of medieval Sicilian art, Norman in particular, but with clear influences derived from Arab, Catal and Byzantine.
All rates are quoted in Euro curency. Price includes driver guide for the entire tour Price does not include lunch, gratuities nor entrance fees.
Entrance fees: Euro 8,00 per person, payable directly on the spot.
Full Day Tour (7 hrs)
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