Palermo and Monreale

Situated on the coast overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the homonymous Gulf, Palermo is the capital of the Sicilian region. Its origins are evidenced by some cave engravings dating back to the Paleolithic. Conquered in the 8th century BC from the Phoenicians, became one of the most powerful cities in the Mediterranean Sea. It remained the main commercial port of Magna Grecia and for the following centuries, until the Arab rule with which it reached the peak of its power. Then followed the conquests of the Normans and the Swabians, who kept the well-being already acquired by the city. Subsequently it became part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and only with the conquest of Garibaldi, Palermo and Sicily became part of the nascent Kingdom of Italy. To visit are the Cathedral, the Pretoria Fountain, the Royal Palace and the Martorana Church.

At 7 Km from Palermo, you will find the Norman town of Monreale. It is famous thanks to its imposing Duomo, dedicated to Santa Maria la Nova, a 12th-century Arabic-Norman art masterpiece. The Cathedral of Monreale is, after Santa Sofia in Istanbul, the greatest Byzantine Mosaic opera that exists in the world. Most of the cathedral is covered by gilded Byzantine school mosaics.