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Things to do in Monreale

Our most recommended things to do in Monreale

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.

Capuchin Catacombs and Monreale Cathedral Private Tour

3. Capuchin Catacombs and Monreale Cathedral Private Tour

Explore the ghoulish remains of friars and luminaries at Palermo’s Capuchin Catacombs on a 3-hour sightseeing tour. Wander along dank corridors through a vast human library of mummified bodies. Inaugurated in 1599, when Capuchin monks discovered that their catacombs contained a mysterious preservative that could mummify the dead, the goal of the site is to reflect on the fragility of life and consider the pettiness of worldly goods. Some 8,000 bodies of men and women were ultimately buried in the catacombs, including the mummy of friar Silvestro of Gubbio, the first body to be buried in the catacombs. The corpses are divided into categories, such as friars, virgins, and professors, and often recognizable by their decaying clothing. As you walk through the corridors, you will see ghastly bodies that include the mummified corpse of the painter Velazquez. Emerge from the gruesome catacombs and travel to Monreale, 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Palermo. Here you will swap corpses for gold and marble as you visit the 12th-century Arab-Norman Cathedral, one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the world. End your tour at the Benedictine Cloister, completed at the turn of the 13th century. Wander around the beautiful garden, surrounded by delicate arches and white marble columns.

From Palermo: Monreale and Cefalù Day Trip

4. From Palermo: Monreale and Cefalù Day Trip

In the company of our escort driver, you will leave fromPalermo and yourfirst stop will be the wonderful Cefalù; your escort will make you walk through the streets of the city, until you reach the oldest Norman cathedral dating back to 1131: the Duomo of Cefalù. You will have 2 hours to enjoy, independently, the visit of the cathedral and admire the famous gold mosaic of "Christ Pantocrator" that dominates the presbytery . In addition to historical monuments, in Cefalù you can visit the endless beach on which stands the ancient medieval village, populated since ancient Greece. The next destination that awaits you will be Monreale, a majestic village located on Mount Caputo, overlooking the "Conca d'oro". Here you can visit another majestic cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Monreale, a UNESCO World HeritageSite. It is the Arab-Norman cathedral richest in gold and lapis lazuli in the world.

Palermo, Monreale and Mondello Private Tour with Street Food

5. 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.

Sicily: 7-Day Sicilian Culture and Art Tour

6. Sicily: 7-Day Sicilian Culture and Art Tour

Day 1 After getting picked up at Catania Airport, enjoy a welcome aperitif in the company of your local guide in Catania. Afterward, enjoy a walking tour of the city during which you will see iconic landmarks such as the Duomo Square, The cathedral fi Saint Agatha, Roman Amphitheatre, and Bellini Park. Day 2 Start your day with a light trek on Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna. After your trek, re-energize with a traditional Italian lunch at a family-run restaurant. You will also be able to sample some local wines from the Etna region. After lunch, enjoy some free time to explore the town of Taormina at your own pace before heading up to Castelmola, where you can sample the region's famous almond wine served with delicious biscuits. Finish the day by watching the breathtaking sunset in the village of Savoca, one of Italy's prettiest villages and the setting for the Godfather movie. Day 3 Today, enjoy a guided tour of the city of Syracuse, including a visit to the island of Ortigia. Here, admire landmarks such as the Cathedral of Saint Lucy, Caravaggio, Archimedes Square, and the Fountain of Aretusa. Afterward, move onto Neapolis Archaeological Park where you can admire the Latomie del Paradiso, Greek Theatre, Roman Amphitheatre, and  The Ear of Dionysius. Stop for lunch in the town of Noto, a baroque-style town with elegant churches and sprawling palaces. In the afternoon, enjoy a chocolate-making masterclass in the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily before heading to the picture-perfect town of Ragusa Ibla, where you will spend the night. Day 4 Start your day at the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, where one of the largest and richest collections of Roman mosaics in the world awaits you. Afterward, head to the Valley of Temples, where you will discover one of the greatest examples of Greater Greece's art and architecture. Enjoy some free time to explore this sprawling temple complex, with 7 ancient Greek temples. Day 5 In the morning, head to the coastal town of Marsala to sample the town's namesake wine. Learn how to differentiate this unique fortified wine by its amber color and unique scent. In the afternoon, head to the Trapani Salt Museum. Here, learn more about salt production methods in the area and admire a unique landscape dotted with over 100 mills, some of which are still in function. Finish the day with a stroll around the medieval town of Erice, a historic and charming town located in the Sicilian hills. Day 6 Today, you will be visiting the towns of Palermo and Monreale, both of which are famous for their Byzantine-style mosaics. In Palermo, visit the 12th-century cathedral and immerse yourself in the city's vibrant history and culture. In Monreale, admire the fine mosaics in the town's great Norman cathedral. Afterward, take in panoramic views of the surrounding valley, filled with orange, olive and almond trees. Day 7 Spend your last day in Sicily at the seaside town of Cefalu. Spend a few hours getting lost in a maze of tiny streets and ice-cream shops before heading Castelbuono, a picturesque village hidden in the Madonie Mountains. Get dropped off back at the airport at the end of your trip.

Monreale & Palermo with street food tasting - Half Day Tour

7. Monreale & Palermo with street food tasting - Half Day Tour

Today departure for Monreale by taxi for a guided visit to the Dome, a wonderful example of the Arab-Norman art and architecture. Launched in 1174 by William II, the Dome represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments, all in golden mosaics. Later back to Palermo and start with a walk into a lively open air market, a place with strong Arab influences, resembling a souk, with picturesque stands of fresh fish, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to observe local people in their daily activities and to savor foods that real Sicilian people love to eat! A small tasting of typical street food is included. The walking tour through the ancient center of Palermo is approx 2.5 hours, and you will visit several monuments including Piazza Pretoria, and the exterior of the Cathedral. The tour will finish at the Four Corner to permit you to have the afternoon at leisure to explore Palermo on your own.

Palermo and Monreale: Private Guided Tour with Transport

8. Palermo and Monreale: Private Guided Tour with Transport

Explore Palermo and Monreale with a private tour guide. Learn about the history of the region and wander the charming towns while you visit the landmarks of your choice. Create your own itinerary and choose when to walk, relax, and eat. Begin your tour with pickup by your private driver and head to Palermo, known as the touristic and economic capital of the Sicily region. Learn from your guide about its founding by the Phoenicians and the later conquering by the Greeks, as well as its cultural rise under the Arabs. While in Palermo you can visit: • Quattro Canti• Historical Market of Palermo• Teatro Massimo• Church "Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio Martorana"• Norman Palace• Duomo (Cathedral of Palermo)• San Giovanni degli Eremiti• Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio Martorana Continue on to Monreale, an Italian municipality in the province of Palermo. Take time to relax and enjoy the blend of nature and architecture that characterizes this town. Learn from your guide about the cultures that have coexisted and collided throughout its history. In Monreale you can see: • Duomo di Monreale • Benedictine Cloister • Le Absidi • Piazza Vittorio Emanuele • Tritone Fountain • Diocesan Museum of Monreale • AcquaPark Monreale • Ciambr'Art Enjoy having your driver and guide at your total disposition during your tour until you're ready to be dropped off back at your accommodation.

Other Sightseeing Options in Monreale

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What people are saying about Monreale

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 368 reviews

Great experience. Sebastiano (our driver/guide) was able to pick us at our hotel in the morning. He took us to Monreale right when it opened, spent about 1.5 hour there. Then we went to Cefalu and spent 2 hours there. We were able to wander around the areas by ourselves but Sebastiano makes sure you have a sense of where you are, what you should see, and when/where he will pick you back up. Very punctual as well. Awesome service!

Awesome trip. We were picked up and dropped off at our Airbnb. I love hands-off tours where the driver gives you a few tips and then you're off on your own. I had my two children with me and we were able to explore on our own and enjoyed some playtime. I would definitely recommend if you're more of a hands-off traveler.

This was a great half day trip from Palermo. Monreale had great views over the cities and a lovely church. Cefalu was beautiful on the water. It was during the holidays/off season, so my was closed, but it was fun to visit.

A quick trip to see two must-see places. Adriano an exceptional driver who was providing us with valuable information, with great sympathy

Beautiful example of art in my the late 11th century. inspiring.