Famous throughout the world, Palermo is the regional capital of Sicily, located between Monte Pellegrino and the bay of Conca d’Oro, in the western part of Sicily.
City of a thousand faces, Palermo still preserves the testimonies of the cultures and civilizations of the peoples who over the centuries have conquered it, making it an exceptional mosaic of different cultures, architectures and traditions that attracts and enchants thousands of visitors from all over the world.
The first settlement (the palaeopolis) arose in that strip of land between the Kemonia and Papireto rivers where, in the eighth century. BC, landed the Phoenicians, the first inhabitants, who called it Ziz (flower). Before being occupied by the Greeks, the city, together with the nearby Mothya and Solunto, constituted a Phoenician commercial base of primary importance, and in these cities the Phoenicians withdrew when the Greeks arrived in western Sicily in the eighth century. B.C. To the Greeks followed the Romans (from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD), the Byzantines (from the 6th to the 9th century AD), the Arabs (from the 9th to the 11th century AD), the Normans and the Swabians (XI-XIII) ), the Angevins and the Aragonese (XIV), the Spaniards (XVI), the Savoy, the Austrians and the Bourbons (XVIII).
The historical and artistic heart of the city is located at the intersection of the two main streets, the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the Via Maqueda, well known as the famous 'Quattro Canti'.
This small town, built on the slopes of Monte Caputo (about 12 km from Palermo), is famous for its Norman Cathedral, full of precious mosaics, and for the splendid cloister of the Benedictine Abbey. The Cathedral was founded in 1174 by William II and around it were also built the Abbey, the Royal Palace and the Archbishop. The birth of the Duomo is shrouded in legend: it is said that Roger II, having dreamed of finding a treasure hidden under a carob tree at whose feet he had fallen asleep, made a vow to build a temple in honor of the Savior, if the prophecy of dream had come true. The extraordinary feature of this construction is the mosaic decoration that runs along the entire perimeter of the church, made with tesserae embedded in pure gold. The extraordinary representation of Christ Pantocrator stands out in the major apse, inserted into a complex figuration that represents the triumph of Christianity. The Cloister of the Benedictines, also dating back to the time of William II, is built around a square portico consisting of 228 columns surmounted by oval arches and decorated in various ways, with inlays of polychrome mosaics, arabesques, reliefs, mosaics gold.
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