Enjoy a full-day excursion from Palermo to see the famous Monreale Cathedral with its gold mosaics. Then return to Palermo, the capital of Sicily, and explore its open-air markets, wander through the Capuchin Catacombs, and stroll along Pretoria Square.
What to Expect
See some of the highlights of the Palermo Province on a full-day tour that explores Palermo and Monreale.
After meeting at the Palermo Hotel, you will drive to Monreale to see where the Arab-Norman art and architecture reached the pinnacle of its glory. Enter the local cathedral, begun in 1174 by William II, and visit its dome to see the golden mosaics depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments.
Next, take the short drive back to Palermo, the capital of Sicily. Here you will explore the fascinating Capuchin Catacombs, which outgrew their original cemetery in the 16th century. As a result, the monks began to excavate the crypts below the burial grounds. The bodies here were dehydrated on the racks of ceramic pipes in the catacombs and sometimes later washed with vinegar.
Monks were preserved with their everyday clothing and sometimes with ropes they had worn as a penance. The catacombs contain about 8,000 mummies that line the walls. The halls are divided into categories, such as men, women, virgins, children, priests, monks, and professionals.
Return to the daylight and continue on to explore the lively Capo Market, a large open-air street market that captures the flavor of Palermo's Saracen Arab past.
Capo is a blend of general confusion and a jumble of vendor stalls, winding toward the old gate (Porta Carini) of what used to be the city wall. When you have seen what you want to see at the market, continue on to the Piazza Pretoria and Via Maqueda, whose "four corners" converge at a quartet of baroque palaces left over from the heyday of Spanish rule dating from 1560.
- Vehicle with air conditioning
- English-speaking driver-escort
- Visits as per itinerary, including VAT
What's Not Included
- Admission fees
- Licensed tourist guide
- Beverages and meals
Know Before You Go
The price of this excursion does not include the admission fees (around €10 per person per entrance).
If you are over 65 or under 18 years old and you have EU or Commonwealth Passport, the admission fees are free of charge for you showing your document (or copy of your document) on the spot.
Every effort is made to provide the tour as described, however the itinerary may change due to situations beyond our control.