A sunny city
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Mondello is located at the foot of Monte Pellegrino and is a hamlet of Palermo. This seaside village attracts many tourists every year. The famous seaside resort, located about 10 km from the historic center of Palermo, is reachable by means of many royal tree-lined avenues, directly crossing the large Favorita park, or through secondary connections from the suburbs of the city. This magnificent area is characterized by a sandy gulf, tropical colors of the sea, famous Art Nouveau style villas, a typical port, numerous accommodation facilities, restaurants, small shops, nautical clubs and a bathing establishment, literally stormed in August by tourists and citizens too.
It is known as the beach of Palermo and is noisy and colorful, that means “noble and popular” at the same time. For so many years now, the hamlet is popular in summer, with a sporting vocation, testified by the great international successes obtained in windsurfing by some athletes of Palermo. They learnedto ride the waves exactly on this beach. In the last decade the resort has developed its own vocation and has increased the tourist offer with excellent accommodation facilities, numerous typical restaurants, shops and entertainments. The breezy climate in summer and mild in winter, the seabed rich in vegetation, the beach fine and white, the water clear and crystalline and much more, make Mondello an important tourist pole.
WORLD FESTIVAL ON THE BEACH
World festival on the Beach is a summer festival that take place, from 1985, in the seaside district of Mondello, between the end of spring and the beginning of summer. The event includes several sporting events, but also international music performances, which make the Sicilian village a place of extraordinary interest. The event includes also many summer sport competitions including: windsurfing, surfing, kitesurfing, sailing, beach volleyball, golf and fencing. In addition to concerts, diving courses and photographic exhibitions are also held in the competition area.
Monreale is famous all over the world for its Norman cathedral, built under instructions from the king William II the Good, towards the end of the twelfth century (1172-1186). The religious building, dedicated to Santa Maria la Nuova, represents without a doubt the most beautiful Norman church in the whole region. This is also one of the most beautiful architectural monuments of the Middle Ages. The architecture of the building is very particular, characterized by a set of different styles: Greek, Arabic and Norman. It is characterized by three bodies conceived in a compact way: Church, Royal Palace and convent. The Duomo is imposing and was built in a few years: all this confirms how the Norman dynasty made ample use of art as a means of affirmation and glorification of the young and ambitious kingdom. The façade is composed of an arcade with mullioned walls, two mighty fortified towers (the left one has become a bell tower) and notable bronze doors. One of these was made by Bonanno Pisano and was built towards the end of the 12th century (1185-1186). The exterior still preserves the Norman imprint because it is adorned with different drawings. The church has a Latin cross and is divided into two floors.The very characteristic interior radiate its own light, emanated from the wide gilded surface of the mosaics. These are often diversified by a non-constant quality, in fact they vary both for refinement and expressiveness. This suggests that the execution was entrusted to artists that have had different backgrounds. Inside the sacred place there is the entrance to the Crypt, which preserves the rich treasure of William II. This treasure boasts also a precious thorn of the Crown of Christ, preserved in a reliquary of gold and silver. The high and delightful ceiling has undergone restoration work at the beginning of the XIX Century (1811), after a fire that had destroyed part of the it. Note the gold-rich truss in various colors. The chapels deserve attention because they are abundantly decorated. This place also houses the precious urn in which the bowels of the King of France Louis IX, known as “The Saint”, are preserved. His body, traveling from Africa, stayed in the city for a long time. As mentioned above, also the royal palace and the convent belong to this imposing building. On the second floor we find the Hall of King Ruggero, rich in mosaics which should not be missed. The Hall of the Duke of Montalto, the Salon of Hercules and the ancient prisons have to be visited too. The cloister of the Duomo is located within the adjoining monastery. Among the most important things of the convent a picture representing St. Benedict. This canvas is considered the most valuable work of the painter and architect Pietro Novelli, known as the Monrealese. He was one of the most important and influential artist of the ‘ 600 in Sicily and one of the greatest of his time.
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