Duomo di Monreale
Duomo di Monreale
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Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Phil-Joel
    Sydney, Australia737 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must do in Sicily.
    Simply stunning & fully deserving of its UNESCO status. I didn’t walk through the cloister area, nor took an audio guide as I simply wanted to look at the mosaic artwork which I found unbelievable. I did pay the €4 to walk on the roof which provided distant panoramic views of Palermo & the surrounding piazza & suburbs. We got there at 3:30 & I was lucky enough to find street parking within 100 meters.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 28, 2023
  • Bunty8
    United Kingdom639 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don’t miss
    If you are in Palermo, this is a must see. There are steps up from the parking area, passing number of touristy shops. However , it is worth it, the cathedral is stunning we had a guide which helped, explaining the various mosaics which depict stories from the testaments. The cloisters are also worth visiting, beautiful columns with different carvings on top. Well worth its UNESCO status. The town itself is pleasant with views over Palermo to the sea. It can get very busy if cruise ships in,
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 25, 2023
  • Charles_and_Susan
    Nottingham, United Kingdom7,259 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive mosaic pictures
    This cathedral is on a hill overlooking Palermo and from the bus park there is quite a walk up steps up the hill. As an aside, as we passed through the square to the cathedral there were about a dozen Maserati cars strutting their stuff - a lot of value in one place. Anyway - the cathedral contains many ancient mosaic elaborate pictures. They are very impressive.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 19, 2023
  • Sandy S
    Albuquerque, New Mexico1,018 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning mosaics
    Monreale deserves most of an afternoon. The mosaics are dazzling and impressively detailed, especially considering that they’d been wrought in 1123. Some seem almost whimsical in their depictions of Biblical stories, especially those from the Hebrew Scriptures.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 7, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles5,357 reviews
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4,460
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687
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99
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lynette_cypress
Boise, ID461 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Incredible cathedral, full of mosaics and beautiful artwork. The gold in the mosaics glitters in the natural light coming from the high windows. And we were lucky enough to hear someone trying out the organ for a few minutes. It’s amazing, both inside and out. We didn’t spend a lot of time outside due to our busy schedule, but if I get to go back I’d like to spend more time looking around the entire complex. Entry to the cathedral is free, but there is a portion, a richly decorated chapel to the left of the alter, that is ticket-access only (€2.50). Glad we did it – it was also spectacular.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fjane84
Island of Malta, Malta669 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Couples
This cathedral is a must-see! The vast height inside is full to every inch, of glimmering gold and coloured ornate mosaics from the 12th and 13th century. They depict biblical scenes and geometric designs. The main door is also amazing, made of bronze in the 1180s. To enter the cathedral only it is free, but for the cloisters and roof there is a fee. We visited the cathedral only due to time constraints. The outside of the cathedral is also really beautiful.
Written June 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AlexSwallow
Sheffield, UK1,659 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I've seen quite a lot of cathedrals in my time, but nothing quite prepared me for this. The location is itself stunning, the town is high on the side of a long valley.

The mosaics around walls of the cathedral are incredible, showing familiar scenes from the Bible (such as the creation of the World), the life of Jesus and much more.

It was a peaceful place and there was no feeling at all that because it is a popular attraction you have to move on quickly- we spent a decent amount of time following the stories and soaking up the majesty of the place.

If you have time and are in nearby Palermo, you owe it to yourself to catch the bus here. It isn't that far- in fact we got the bus from Palermo here and ended up walking all the way back.
Written May 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JohnG
Kingston, Canada462 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Solo
A trip to Monreale on the outskirts of Palermo is worth the effort. The town is a delightful little spot on the top of a hill overlooking Palermo. Lots of little shops and restaurants. Take the bus from Piazza indeprndenza for 1.4 Euros. Admission to the Cathedral is 13 Euros. Read a bit about it or get a guide to fully understand the history of what you are seeing. I engaged a guide just outside the lineup for the tickets at 2:30 PM for €15 Dash which included the admission price. A real good deal.
Written April 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ANGELO V
Milan, Italy4,406 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
This church was built from 1172, and it was completed in 1267. It is famous for the rich Byzantine mosaics that decorate its interior. It is listed as a World Heritage Site (UNESCO), as part of the Arab-Norman itinerary of Palermo and the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale.

In the right nave there are the porphyry sarcophagus of William I, who died in 1166, and the marble sarcophagus of William II the Good. On the left side, inside medieval tombs, are the remains of Margherita of Navarre and Sicily, wife of William I, and of her sons Roger and Henry, and the Chapel of "San Luigi dei Francesi" (St. Louis of the French), with the remains of French King Louis IX.

The side Chapel of the Crucifix (left of the main altar) is a splendid example of Baroque, and it is reviewed separately.

The best part of the Duomo are the mosaics of the Byzantine school with a gold background, executed between the 12th and the mid-13th century. The mosaics mainly represent the stories of the Old and New Testaments.

The entrance ticket includes access to the roofs, terraces, walkways and skylights of the temple. The visit to the external upper roofs allows a complete view of the cloister, and a breathtaking panorama over the city of Palermo and a vast portion of the Conca d'Oro.
Written December 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jazzumbo
Romania2,083 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
The Cathedral will catch your eyes even before entering Monreale from Palermo.
Although one of the towers partially collapsed in 1807 after being struck by a bolt of lightening, Duomo di Monreale is the best preserved cathedral included in the Norman Arab tour.
The Byzantine mosaics are really outstanding. The ones describing the Creation of the World (Genesis) prove a lot of imagination. They could be considered a kind of innocent comics book published 900 years ago. ”God giving order to the Primal Chaos”, ”God creating the Sun and the Moon” and ”God infusing Adam with life” (figured like a white line emerging from God's head and entering Adam's head) are my favorites by far.
Buy the full ticket, so you can climb on the roof - the views over Palermo and Conca D'Oro are breathtaking.
Written October 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Blue J
Havre de Grace, MD766 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
I love mosaics, and if you do too, this is THE church to visit outside of Ravenna, Italy. Supposedly only second largest such mosaic church in the world. Pictures do not do this magnificent place justice. You must see this place in person to totally appreciate the magnitude of the achievement and the skill of the artisans who pulled this off.

My only complaint is that I never felt peaceful in this church. Every nook and cranny is covered in mosaics. I felt like my typical morning after 2 hard core lattes. It's hard to focus on one area. Impressive as it may be, they were swinging for the fence on this one instead of providing any visual respite. I also felt there was a lot of tension trying to blend eastern orthodox with Roman rite themes.

That said, the incredible eastern orthodox image of Christ is breathtaking. A monumental achievement. The center of the church was closed due to Covid, but if you make your way to the front right of the church and immediately go left toward the main altar, you can catch a great view and close up of the incredible image.

We visited the beautiful former Benedictine cloister outside of the main church as well. The columns and garden area are absolutely beautiful.

Allow at least 1.5 hrs to see both places, take pictures, and pursue the really nice little gift shop at the ticketing entry. They did allow us discounts for my 2 student children which was really nice.

This is an awe inspiring destination and a short drive from Palermo. We parked at a public parking garage about 3 blocks from the church. Even though the garage is slightly difficult to access, parking around the church is very limited so this garage is a good bet.
Written August 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phil-Joel
Sydney, Australia737 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Simply stunning & fully deserving of its UNESCO status.

I didn’t walk through the cloister area, nor took an audio guide as I simply wanted to look at the mosaic artwork which I found unbelievable.

I did pay the €4 to walk on the roof which provided distant panoramic views of Palermo & the surrounding piazza & suburbs.

We got there at 3:30 & I was lucky enough to find street parking within 100 meters.
Written August 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sissi
Gateshead, UK225 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
You might have heard the saying of the donkey and the ass so we went to see Monreale. The town itself is not that interesting I have to say, so i was glad we didn't stay too long. However the 1 1/2 hours we had from the tour wasn't really enough to go around the church - it is such an amazing place! The mosaics are stunning, the floor is stunning and you can climb up the tower and have great views all around. we are quite quick in getting around but I'd like to have had a bit more time. However, if you get the bus instead of a tour make sure you are waiting for the bus in good time - it look rammed! It's not very frequent so probably why.
However, we loved walking around, having a look at the mosaics and finding the different stories told. The only downside was that the cloister wasn't open. Such a shame! But worthwhile going, you'll be stunned by the beauty!
Written June 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian E
Santa Rosa, CA479 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Traveling as we do, we often get “Cathedral-ed out” when we visit too many on one trip. One blurs into the next. This was not my experience in Monreale. In fact, it is one of the three most visually stunning Cathedrals I’ve ever seen (the others: Chartres, France for the stain glass; Montreal, Canada for the breathtaking blue stone). What I found breathtaking about Duomo di Monreale was that it layered Arabic architectural interpretation of a Catholic Cathedral with every inch of it being adorned with minute mosaic designs. It was a visual feast for the eyes and something well worth going out of your way to visit.
Written March 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Duomo di Monreale

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