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Stage 1 - Monreale - Palermo

The stage

Sicily is hosting the starting point of the 2020 Giro d’Italia 2020 with a 15 km time trial that connects Monreale to Palermo.

Stage 1 - Monreale-Palermo

This stage is short but rich in art, history and culture. Its focal point is one of Italy's 55 UNESCO sites (seven of which are in Sicily), namely Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale.

The UNESCO site includes nine gems built during the Norman Kingdom of Sicily (1130-1194) in the form of buildings resulting from a combination of different architectural and artistic traditions, i.e. Byzantine, Islamic and Western, the fusion of which has given rise to a unique style that testifies to how fruitful the coexistence of people with different origins can be.

Monreale developed around the splendid Norman Cathedral, which is famous for its surprising Byzantine school mosaic decoration. Set against a gold background, it almost entirely covers the walls, spanning a space measuring 6,340 square metres. It forms a compendium of stories from the Bible dominated by the gigantic Christ Pantocrator in the main apse.

Monreale Cathedral  - Sicily

It is possible to visit the Benedictine Cloister located next to the Cathedral. Built with a square layout, it encompasses a beautiful little garden bordered by a portico with ogival arches supported by 228 matching columns, which are finely decorated and enriched with historiated capitals depicting biblical scenes.

Cathedral - Benedictine Cloister

The short route of the first stage ends in Palermo.
First a Greek and Roman city, then an Arabic capital and later conquered by the Normans and Swabians, Palermo is a place where great Arabesque and Norman accomplishments coexist, with a Baroque and Art Nouveau style to the monuments, palaces and theatres, as well as the gardens and markets.

Palermo Cathedral

Italian Capital of Culture 2018, it boasts a complex historical legacy and a rich heritage of treasures, some of which are noticeable at first glance while others are more hidden. With this in mind, the best thing to do is start looking and to help you we have created this short guide: Palermo waiting to be unravelled.

Not to be missed

Cefalù

Cefalù

Speaking of Arab-Norman Palermo, a tour cannot fail to include a visit to Cefalù, one of "italy's most beautiful villages", and to the majestic Cathedral (also a UNESCO site) which houses the wonderful Byzantine mosaic of Christ Pantocrator. Discover Cefalù.

Christ Pantocrator - Cefalù Cathedral

By bike

The Tourist Observatory of the Department of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment for the Sicilian Region has created a webmap that gathers together itineraries dedicated to soft mobility, including indications on the length of the route, level of difficulty and journey times. It is also possible to download the sheet for each cycle path, the legend of the cycle paths and the GPX file of the entire route.

To enlarge the map click here

Webmap - Soft mobility routes in Sicily

For those who want to ride on the roads of the Giro d'Italia 2020, we recommend the Monreale - Santuario Monte Pellegrino route, which can be traveled by bicycle and on foot.
Sixteen kilometres connect the splendid Monreale Cathedral with the Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia, passing by various symbolic places in Palermo such as the Palazzo dei Normanni and the Cathedral.

Palazzo dei Normanni, Palermo

Visit Sicily proposes itineraries so that you can travel in freedom and sustainably, in contact with nature, art and unforgettable landscapes.

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