Distance from Camping La Playa: 24 km. See directions on Google Maps
Monreale (Murriali or Muntriali in Sicilian) is an Italian town of 39 140 inhabitants in the metropolitan city of Palermo in Sicily.
It is the 21st most populous city in Sicily and is part of the Palermo metropolitan area. Located 5 km south of the capital, with which it forms a single urban area, with its 529 km² it is the sixth largest municipality in Italy by land area, after Rome, Ravenna, Cerignola, Noto and Sassari, and the second largest Italian municipality, after Rome, by number of neighbouring municipalities (23). The city is an archiepiscopal see. The site of Palermo Arabo-Norman and the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.
The city of Monreale came into being with the Normans around the 11th century. Away from the Norman city stood an ancient Arab village Balharā. located on the slopes of Mount Caputo at 310 m above sea level.
It was in this place that the Norman kings retired to rest from the exertions of war and the government of Sicily. It was on a night in 1171 that King William II, known as the Good, had a dream in which the Virgin Mary appeared to him and revealed the place where an immense treasure (his father’s spoils of war) was hidden, with which William was to erect a temple dedicated to her. The king began the construction of the temple, the Archbishop’s Palace and the cloister without delay. He ordered one hundred monks from the Abbey of Cava, headed by Abbot Theobald, to move to Monreale to officiate in the temple. They arrived in Monreale on 20 March 1176 and Abbot Theobald was awarded the title of ‘Lord of the City’.