"A great discovery" Top 5 Page for this destination Monreale by toonsarah

Monreale Travel Guide: 61 reviews and 157 photos

Monreale: most beautiful cathedral in the world?

Serendipity took us to Monreale. Visiting Sicily for a football match in Palermo we decided it would be good to stay somewhere a little more peaceful outside the city and found ourselves out in the hills not far from here. It was a revelation!

I confess I hadn’t heard of it prior to our visit. Yet it has the most amazing cathedral – when our taxi driver claimed it as the most beautiful in the world he may have had a point! The exterior is imposing, perched on a hillside at the bottom end of the town, but it is the stunning interior that makes this such an unmissable sight. Almost every surface is ornately decorated, in particular with rich blue, gold and other colours of mosaic, depicting the main stories of the Old and New Testaments.

No one of any faith, or of none at all, can fail to be moved by the sight.

What else?

In addition to the stunning interior it’s also possible to climb the steps to the cathedral roof, from where you’ll get a fantastic view of the cloisters below and the surrounding area. But don’t try this if you don’t have a good head for heights!

While in Monreale you should also be sure to visit the cloisters, where each pillar is unique, and wander the streets for more wonderful views of Palermo and the bay below. There are also several bars and tavernas, and a few interesting shops. If you’re here in the evening when most of the day-trippers have gone you’ll find it a friendly unpretentious town in which to experience a sense of the real Sicily.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The cathedral, and the wonderful views
  • Cons:None really, allowing for the limitations of any small town
  • Last visit to Monreale: Nov 2006
  • Intro Updated Dec 23, 2011
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Reviews (8)

Comments (17)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    The Cathedral and its cloisters are stunning! Thanks for some great photo's!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    Another great discovery thanks to Newcastle United!

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2008 at 6:36 PM

    Magnificent viwe of medieval Monreale from the roof :~)

  • cnango's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2008 at 3:27 PM

    I would love to visit that medeval cathedral with the art, mosaics and stunning roof top view. Thanks for visitng my Eureka page & for the Virtual tour of Monreale. Nancy : )

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2008 at 6:30 PM

    What a terrific tip about the hotel. I always enjoy your alluring food tips, and these lived up to my expectations. Although we were in Sicily, we never made it to Monreale. Seems we missed much beauty.

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2008 at 7:35 AM

    The cathedral and cloisters, all beautiful. Excellent description of the food, as always.

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2007 at 4:41 AM

    quite a majesticaly eccelsiastically inspired page

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2007 at 2:17 AM

    Lovely littlep page. I really like the view of Palermo from the roof top. Unfortunately I didn't make it as far south as to Sicilia in Italy.

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2007 at 12:29 AM

    The Monreale cathedral does look amazing. Love your photo from the top : )

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2007 at 10:30 AM

    Oh my god, I am speechless ! The taxi driver is most probably right, and I say this after I have just seen Basilica San Marco. Well, your page convinced me that my next Italian trip simply must lead me to Sicily :-))) Thanks Sarah :-))


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