Monreale’s cathedral complex was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the ten sites of the “Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale” circuit in 2015. Architecture and art, and - above all - the magnificent mosaics and decorations in both the cathedral and the cloister make Monreale a “must” on every discerning Sicily traveler’s to-do list.
Ticket gives access to Monreale cathedral’s Ruano Chapel, the cloister, and the terraces.
(The visit of Monreale cathedral alone does not require a ticket.)
Monreale and the Santa Maria Nuova Cloister
This ticket allows access to one of the most important monumental complexes of the Sicilian-Norman Middle Ages, offering you the possibility to meet and understand the founding idea that moved King William II who strongly wanted not only the building of the cathedral, but of the entire abbey complex.
The declared intent of the Norman King was for Monreale to become the region’s reference point of the ecclesiastical world. This was also the reason why he granted the monastery to a Benedictine order that came from Cava dei Tirreni in the Salerno region of southern Italy. The cathedral - which was archbishop's seat since its foundation - was architecturally completed with the construction of the extraordinary cloister, an elegant example of monastic architecture, a true “hortus conclusus” (“enclosed garden” in the Medieval sense) where it is easy to imagine the monks walking, reading and praying.
The cloister forms the fulcrum of the entire complex of the Benedictine abbey Santa Maria La Nuova, founded in 1174 at the behest of the Norman King William II. The elegant square cloister is surrounded by pointed arches that end in double columns. These are beautifully decorated with mosaic, with zig zag motifs or with late-classical plant motifs.
Similarly rich and varied is the decoration of the capitals that are sculpted with exquisite artistry and detail. Here, you can find themes related to religious iconography, to the Old and New Testament, animals from the medieval bestiary and the Middle Eastern tradition of plant motifs.
Explore the cathedral, discover the magnificent mosaics (approx. 6.340 m²) with scenes from the Old and the New Testament, the Christ Pantocrator in the dome above the central apse, and many other images full of stunning detail.
Then, continue on to the chapel of the crucifix - better known as Roano Chapel, which was named after its founder - where the cathedral treasure is held. If you wish, continue on to visit the Diocesan Museum (not included in ticket), which is partly located in the chapter hall of San Placido that housed the assembly of monks.
Conclude your tour in the peaceful beauty of the cloister.
Don't miss the experience of the cathedral’s terraces from which you can enjoy an extraordinary view of the city and of the plain of Palermo, all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
"Norman Sicily stood forth in Europe --and indeed in the whole bigoted medieval world-- as an example of tolerance and enlightenment, a lesson in the respect that every man should feel for those whose blood and beliefs happen to differ from his own."
- John Julius Norwich
Monday to Saturday - from 8:30 am until 12:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Sunday: closed to tourist visits
> Cathedral exceptions:
April 24 open in the morning and in the afternoon only from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
April 25 afternoon opening at 3:00 pm instead of 2:30 pm
April 26 closed all day for celebrations of the dedication of the cathedral
Monday to Saturday - from 9:00 am - 7:00 pm (last admission at 6:30 pm)
Holidays: 9:00 am - 1:30 pm (last admission at 1:00 pm)
> Roano Chapel:
Monday to Saturday - from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday: 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
> The complex is closed to visitors: January 1, May 1, December 25
How to get there & Accessibility
> by bus: from Piazza Indipendenza in Palermo, line 389 to Monreale
> by car: from Palermo take Corso Calatafimi until it exits the city and turn onto road SS186 and then onto road SP69 to Monreale
Accessibility: The site is accessible to wheelchair users only in the area of the cloister located on the ground floor with entrance from the Villa Comunale.
Only full ticket
Once a confirmation code has been assigned to the reservation we can refund the cost of unused tickets minus a service fee (reservation fee and online booking fee) up to 1 business day before the visit. No refund is possible for a cancellation less than 24 hours before the visit, and for no-shows.
Before You Book
PLEASE NOTE: Immediately after submitting an order, you will receive two emails. The first email contains your order summary (this one you receive immediately after placing your order), the second email confirms your successful payment (one business day after placing the order). In order to receive these two emails, please make sure that you enter your email address correctly and check that antispam or antivirus filters do not block emails from our [email protected] address. Users of AOL, Comcast and Sbcglobal.net need to pay special attention to this, please. Vouchers will also be available, one business day after the request, at your dashboard.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The time you select on the order form is your preferred time. The closest available time, which can be anytime during opening hours on the selected date, will be automatically confirmed if your preferred time is no longer available.