Monreale stands on the slopes of Mount Caputo in a landscape of exceptional beauty. Its history is tied closely to that of Palermo, with which it forms a single urban area, and the very famous cathedral, a masterpiece of Arab-Norman art which attracts thousands of visitors every year.
It is precisely around the Cathedral of Monreale that the town developed in the 13th century. The Normans withdrew here to rest from the drudgery of war and here that the Norman king William II called The Good decided to settle and build a temple after the appearance of the Madonna in a dream. Today it is a work of priceless beauty and historic-cultural value for its magnificent sumptuous mosaics of Byzantine origin. The Palermo Arab-Norman site and the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale have been declared World Heritage by Unesco.
Mosaic art is still alive in Monreale and together with ceramics and terracotta, wickerwork and fabrics it represents the highest expression of local craft. The beautiful workshops too add colour to the streets of the town centre.
As regards cuisine the town offers a number of specialities such as Pane di Monreale, made from wheat flour and U prunu ri Murriali (Sanacore Plum) typical of the area of Monreale.