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Cattedrale di Monreale

Cattedrale di Monreale: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

Capuchin Catacombs and Monreale Cathedral Private Tour

2. 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.

Monreale: Guided tour of Cathedral, Monastery and Mosaics

3. 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.

Monreale and Cefalù tour

4. Monreale and Cefalù tour

Immerse yourself in the beauty and history of Monreale and Cefalù, two captivating towns nestled in the heart of Sicily. This independent exploration allows you to discover these remarkable destinations at your own pace, creating a personalized experience that caters to your interests and preferences. Our tour begins in Monreale, where you'll have the opportunity to explore the town's most iconic attraction—the Monreale Cathedral. This architectural masterpiece, adorned with mesmerizing mosaics depicting biblical scenes and intricate designs, is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region. Take your time to marvel at the craftsmanship and vibrant colors that bring the cathedral to life, immersing yourself in the artistry of Norman Sicily. After exploring the cathedral, wander through the narrow streets of Monreale, soaking up the authentic atmosphere of this charming town. Discover local shops offering traditional handicrafts, sample Sicilian delicacies at the bustling markets, and engage with friendly locals who are always eager to share their stories and traditions. Don't forget to pause and take in the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside—a breathtaking backdrop that adds to the town's allure. Leaving Monreale behind, venture towards the coastal town of Cefalù, where a wealth of historical and natural wonders await. As you approach Cefalù, the imposing silhouette of the Cefalù Cathedral dominates the skyline. Explore this impressive structure, admiring its blend of Norman and Arab influences and the stunning views it offers from its elevated position. Once inside the town, set off on a leisurely stroll through the labyrinthine streets, lined with ancient buildings and quaint shops. Lose yourself in the enchanting atmosphere as you discover hidden gems and uncover the layers of history that have shaped Cefalù over the centuries. Take a moment to relax on the beautiful beach, feel the soft sand between your toes, and let the soothing sounds of the Mediterranean waves wash over you. Throughout your tour, you'll have the freedom to enjoy the local cuisine, or simply the opportunity to soak up the authentic ambiance of these remarkable Sicilian towns. Prepare to be enchanted by Monreale and Cefalù, as you embark on an adventure that combines breathtaking sights, cultural discoveries, and the freedom to explore at your own pace.

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. During tour sightseeing of the interesting sights in Palermo, the guide will give all historical informations about the town. After driving for about 20 km you will visit the town of Monreale. Here you can admire the magnificent cathedral and cloister, one of the most stunning Norman churches.  Following Monreale your next visit will be 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 treet food.

Other Sightseeing Options in Cattedrale di Monreale

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What people are saying about Cattedrale di Monreale

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 364 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!

Very nice day trip! Cattedrale di Monreale is a must-see. Remember going up to the roof and the view is marvellous! Our trip leader Adriano has quite sense of responsibility. When we arrived in the early morning, we found the cathedral was unexpectedly closed till 11am. Adriano drove us back in the afternoon after having visited Cefalù.

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.

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