Monreale

In the city of Monreale,we can still find picturesque courtyards and typical harrow streets lined with large, simple houses that lead to the large square in which we can find the Dome. The Dome, dedicated to San Maria la Nuova, was constructed beginning from 1174 under the will of the Norman King Guglielmo II (William II). It is the symbol of a fine mixture of architectural styles like the Islamic, Byzantine and Roman which come together to create one of the greatest Medieval Sicilian works.

The Dome was built together whit the abbey. The royal palace and the archbishop’s palace which put together form a homogeneous complex. Its inside is full of mosaics and there are three naves laid out in the form of a typical Byzantine cross with a squared base and three apses.

The splendid gold mosaics that completely cover the walls of the naves, completed between the XII and XIII centuries, are masterpieces of local workers. They represent the cycle of the Old and New Testament with specific legends in Latin and Greek. You can admire numerous and wonderful works of arts inside the Dome rich in precious historical facts that join the past with the present. Passed a hidden door, found in the right nave, and crossing various small rooms you arrive to the so-called “decks” of the Dome from which you can enjoy a magnificent, panoramic view of the entire Conca D’oro Valley.