After Carlo picked us up from the airport in Sicily, we went back to his mountain house in Pioppo, Palermo to get situated and drop off our bags. Soon after we headed out, so he could start showing us around Sicily. He took us to Monreale, which is a little town that sits on the slope of Monte Caputo. It overlooks a fertile valley filled with orange, olive, and almond trees.
When we arrived, we happened upon a little old sicilian man with his horse and carriage. These little horse carriages are a Sicilian staple, and I never knew that they were a real thing, until I saw one for myself on this trip! It was the cutest thing ever, so we asked if we could take a picture with my brother and I sitting on it. He let us sit on the cart and take the picture, but he got rather cranky when we didn’t pay him after. I think we may have slipped him some money for it, lol.
After that, we headed to the Monreale Cathedral which was just BREATHTAKING!! The amount of detail put into the architecture of both the exterior and interior was just mind-blowing! The interior of the church was covered in detailed mosaics, marble, with golden details… The courtyard of the Cathedral was just whimsical and beautiful as well with marble archways and columns with golden inlay in various patterns surrounding a lawn divided into 4 parts by pathways and bushes.
After exploring the Cathedral, we walked up and down the steep cobblestone streets, seeing the occasional moped pass by against the back drop of the villa scattered mountainside. There was beautiful wrought iron, devoured by foliage at every turn. I remember we got to a lookout point, and below we saw what looked like a school trip, or boy scout troop playing in an empty fountain.
That is about as much as I remember of Monreale, but it was beautiful, and I definitely recommend anyone who loves old architecture to go check it out if they ever pass through that area… The mosaics alone are just BREATHTAKING!
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