Saturday, June 3, 2017
Easy does it. You need some lazy days and this was one of them. Slow getting up, slow getting ready, late lunch, slow checking emails.
We picked up the pace around 4:30 pm (when Italians gear up for the second lively half of the day) and were dropped at the bottom of Monreale, a community that lies on the gentle slope of Monte Caputo. It is such an attractive town, famous for being the birth place of the painter Pietro Novelli (see blog from yesterday).
You can stop on the way up to admire some spectacular panoramas of Palermo, but as soon as you enter town, you are struck by the architecture of the monuments and historical houses.
Our first stop was the cathedral, on the main square. It is a Romanesque building, simple in style, going back to the 12th century. Once inside, you are in awe of the incredible mosaic work depicting scenes of the Bible: creation, the flood, the tower of Babel, and many other scenes from the Old and New Testaments, all the way to The Christ resurrection. Magnificent!
Next to the cathedral is a cloister, still the original monastery. While the entrance to the cathedral is free, the visit of the cloister costs 6 euros per adult (no senior discounts here…). The place was practically empty and as peaceful as you would expect. The main inner square is surrounded by 228 columns, all decorated with various designs and materials. If you are the contemplative type, this is for you!
What followed was a gentle stroll and… gelato.
At 7:30 pm, we took the bus (number 389) back to Palermo, a ride of about 10 minutes. With a bunch of teenagers, loud and playful, we gingerly descended, while Raymond was secretly hoping they would ALL get out at the first stop! Too funny!