Editors' Picks

Monreale Cathedral

Monreale sicily

Anyone staying in or passing through Palermo should stop at Monreale. The town's massive cathedral is one of the world's best examples of Norman architecture, and its interiors—the entire interior surface save for a few small marble areas—are decorated with mosaics. The tiny pieces, painted on a gilded background, come together to depict recognizable scenes from the Old Testament. I could have spent hours looking at the detailed scenes, down to incredibly precise facial expressions (particularly striking: Adam and Eve's look of shocked dismay when they are banished from the Garden of Eden). Considering the size of the cathedral and the tools (and scaffolding!) available to 12th-century artisans, Monreale is simply mind-blowing.

Driving Time

Palermo — Monreale: 20 minutes

Written by Simone Girner

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