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Monreale

Travel Guide Europe Italy Sicily Monreale

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Introduction

The Cathedral of Monreale (Sicily, Italy)

The Cathedral of Monreale (Sicily, Italy)

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Monreale is a town and commune in the Palermo Province on Sicily. It is best known for its basilica or cathedral.

- the most extraordinary and extensive area of Christian mosaic-work in the world, the apex of Sicilian-Norman art - The Rough Guide to Sicily

It must be agreed that sounds like hype but, having seen it, you may agree that there is not a bit of hype about it. As pictures can tell so much more than words, the external website above portrays rather than describes.

Unusually, the building took only eight years to complete towards the end of the 12th century. Hence there was no clash of architectural styles and its magnificence is such that in no age have substantial improvements been deemed necessary. The speed of building and the magnificence are larely explained by the desire of King William II to excel anything about Palermo Cathedral, owing to his rivalry with the Archbishop who was supported by the Pope, the latter having political designs on Sicily.

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Sights and Activities

Note that the cloisters are entered by a separate door from the front of the cathedral. Both are open from 0800 to 1800 at a cost of €4,5.

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Getting There

The cloister of the abbey of Monreale (Sicily, Italy)

The cloister of the abbey of Monreale (Sicily, Italy)

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By Bus

Buses run frequently from the large square by the Palazzo dei Normani in Palermo.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Genoardo Park HotelVia Aquino, 126HOTEL-
Locanda Re RuggeroVia Arcivescovado,9HOTEL-
Domus Notarivia Duca degli Abruzzi, 3 Monreale (Pa)GUESTHOUSE-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Almost all towns and cities in Italy have internet cafes. A growing number of budget hostels and nicer hotels have free Wifi. By law all public-access internet points must keep records of web sites viewed by customers, and even the customer's ID: expect to be refused access if you don't provide identification. Hotels providing Internet access are not required to record IDs if the connection is provided in the guest's room, although if the connection is offered in the main public hall then IDs are required. Publicly available wireless access without user identification is illegal, so open Wi-Fi hotspots (like the ones you might expect to find in a mall or cafée) all have some form of (generally one-time) registration.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Best advice is to buy a prepaid SIM card (from € 10 upwards) and a cheap mobile phone (€ 19 upwards) to put it in (if you don't have a cellphone already that you can use). It will be much more practical. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113 (police), 115 (fire), 118 (health) can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone.

Post

Post Italiane is the national postal services of Italy and has quite an efficient network of postal offices and reliable postal services. Standard letters and postcards (up to 20 grams) cost €0.39 to send within Europe and the Mediterranean countries outside Europe and €0.41 to all other destinations throughout the country. Up to 50 grams, prices start at €0.52 for Europe, €0.62 for other areas. Packages start at €1.55 within Europe, and around €2.50 for other countries. Post office business hours in Italy are from 8:30am to 2:00pm from Monday to Friday, with closing times at Saturday and the last day of the month at 12 noon. In general, larger post offices in bigger cities and in tourist areas keep longer hours than those in local towns. Also note that business hours in the south might be different than the north, with longer hours at night, especially in summer! If you want to send packages you might try faster and more reliable/efficient private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 38.081235
  • Longitude: 13.289695

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This is version 12. Last edited at 9:18 on Jun 28, 13 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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