The cathedral of Monreale was one of the architectural wonders of the Middle Ages. It took hundreds of fine craftsmen from Sicily, Byzantine and Greece to make what is one of the world’s largest concentration of mosaic scenes. After visiting this World Heritage site, we will head off to an atypical wine estate for a memorable wine degustation and lunch
- Main Venues
- Dates and Prices
Overlooking the Conca d’Oro, some 10 km south of Palermo, stands one of the most splendid churches in the world, the cathedral of Monreale. At this world heritage site whose origins go back to the 12th century, you will discover one of the finest examples of Norman architecture. Monreale was one of the architectural wonders of the Middle Ages. It took hundreds of fine craftsmen from Sicily, Byzantine and Greece to make what is one of the world’s largest concentration of mosaic scenes. Stories from the Old Testament as well as the coronation of Gugliemo II are represented in the nave area, and the most important episodes of Christ’s life decorate the aisles and transept. In the main apse, a magnificent representation of Christ Pantocrator solemnly surveys this wealth of decorations. Besides the obvious purpose of disseminating the Christian faith, the mosaics of the cathedral bear evidence to the Norman kings’ syncretic spirit, drawing from both Byzantine and Western iconographical values.
Adjoining the cathedral’s south side is a superb cloister with perfect ogival arches, along with 108 pairs of columns with their decorated capitals that display heads of humans, animals and fantastic beings.
After this guided visit of Monreale, we head to the nearby Valle dello Jato for an introduction to Sicilian winemaking. Following a guided visit of a small and rather singular winery, enjoy a stroll through the vineyards overlooking the valle dello Jato. You will learn about the philosophy that permeates the estate (where numerous farm animals and horses are also to be found), as well as the winery’s distinctive method of production from beginning to end. You will taste a selection of natural wines, which are served with a variety of typical Sicilian cold meats, cheese, bread and olives. This experience is certain to open your eyes to an impressive local wine tradition.∗
Please note that your expert guide will be with you solely for the visit of Monreale’s cathedral. You will proceed to the winery (35/40mn drive) on your own or with your private driver. Please contact us should you require a private driver to reach the winery.
Rates for a private party:
2 pax €370 – 3 pax €410 – 4 pax €450 – 5 pax €490 – 6 pax €530 – 7 pax €570 – 8 pax €610
∗If you would like to enjoy a full lunch at the estate, which we highly recommend, please let us know. A full lunch at the estate includes typical Sicilian antipasti, a first and second courses and numerous side dishes that are prepared solely with products grown locally. The wine tasting and lunch end with a home-made desert and a café/tea. The additional cost of this option is 35 euros per person.
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Monreale's cathedral and cloister
Local winery in the the valle dello Jato
- Admission fees to the cathedral's cloister (€6,00)
- Transportation (please contact us if you would like us to arrange your transfers for the day)
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