Sitting just South of Palermo, overlooking the beautiful Golden Shell (La Conca d’oro) valley from which most of its produce of olives, oranges and almonds are exported in vast quantities, lies the beautiful town of Monreale. The major attraction in this picturesque town would be the Monreale Cathedral. It is the world’s greatest extant of Norman Architecture. Although not so refined as mosaics in Cefalù and the Palazzo dei Normanni, the cathedral interior nevertheless contains the largest cycle of Byzantine mosaics extant in Italy. Walking into this Cathedral you can easily see how the East meets West in the mixture of Arab, Byzantine, Norman and Romanesque architecture to present you with the best of the twelfth century culture.
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