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SHORE EXCURSION: TOUR OF GREATER PALERMO:  8 Hours                                                                      
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This tour is a fabulous introduction to the greater city of Palermo, the capital and the most important city of all Sicily.

Includes:   Our private tour of Palermo includes private “driving guide,” private door-to-door transportation, taxes, tolls and parking.

After a quick drive from the port, you will reach the medieval heart of Palermo, notable for its Baroque and Arab-Norman flavor and lush gardens and prestigious villas. The tour will start at Piazza Pretoria with its beautiful Renaissance fountain originally built for a villa near Florence: a unique sight given its location in the heart of an Arab-Norman city. You will continue your stroll of central Palermo, otherwise known as Quattro Canti, to visit the town cathedral. This magnificent building was erected on the site of the old cathedral, transformed into a mosque by the Arabs and re-consecrated as a Christian church by the Norman kings.

The tour will continue on foot to visit San Giovanni degli Eremiti, a Norman monument built by Roger II in 1136 on the site of a former Gregorian monastery.  You will also visit San Cataldo, a Norman church in the old city center.  The city tour will end with a visit to the Palazzo dei Normanni, the most important monument of Palermo.  Since the post-war period, this Norman-styled palace has been the seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly.

You will next drive along a wonderful road overlooking the Conca D’Oro valley to reach the village of Monreale, where you will visit the magnificent Duomo of Monreale, one of the great sights of Norman Sicily.  Founded in 1172 by King William II, the Duomo flanks a Benedictine monastery. The cathedral’s interior glitters with mosaics designed by Sicilian and Byzantine artists. We will end our day with a stroll at the famous open-air Vucciria market. The largest and busiest market in Palermo, Vuccuria offers a wide range of products, from fresh fruit to trinkets.

 

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