La Martorana Tours

3 Reviews
La Martorana
The church known most commonly as “La Martorana” is an architectural example of Sicily’s changing allegiances over the centuries. The facade alone features three different architectural styles.

The Martorana (Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio is the official name) dates back to 1141. You can no longer see the original Norman facade, but you can still see the typical Norman red dome from the exterior. Thankfully, once you’re inside the church, the original 12th century mosaics still shine in all their Byzantine glory. These mosaics are the highlight of a visit to La Martorana, and if you want to see them at their best, go first thing in the morning.

Back outside the church, you’ll notice that over the old Norman facade there is now a Baroque facade and a Romanesque bell tower. After the church was completed in the mid-12th century, it was later given to a Benedictine nun by the name of Eloisa Martorana - hence the church’s nickname - in the 1190s so she could establish a convent there. The convent flourished through the 19th century, and it was under the direction of the nuns that many of the architectural changes were made. By the early 1900s, the convent was no more - Mussolini gave the church to the Greek Orthodox in Palermo in 1935.

Practical Info

Browsing through the pastry shops in Palermo, you may find the name “Martorana” on the realistically-sculpted marzipan fruits. The nuns of La Martorana were famous for their marzipan, and the name is still used on the marzipan treats made in Palermo.
Address: Piazza Bellini, 3, Palermo, Italy
Read More

4 Tours & Activities to Experience

Category
Select Dates
Filter




Clear Filters
Clear Filters
Sort by:Default

Private Tour from Trapani to Palermo with Guide Driver - Shore Excursion

Exclusive Private Tour with Local Guide Driver.It’s impossible not to visit PALERMO: once a regal capital where different cultures create a particularly original fusion like the Arab-Norman-Byzantine style, also visible in fine buildings. An exceptional example of socio-cultural mix between Western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures. In a green depression extending seawards, surrounded by mountains and gardens of citrus fruits, stands Palermo, ancient capital of a kingdom among the most ancient in Europe. The city rose where now the Royal Palace is housed, namely at el-Kassar, the ancient royal palace of the Arab Emires.
  • Duration: 7 to 8 hours
  • Duration: 7 to 8 hours
From  
US$172.49
From  
US$172.49
See Details

Markets and Monuments: Walking Tour in the Center of Palermo

Explore the historic center of Palermo on a 3-hour walking tour led by a knowledgeable guide. Learn about the city’s history as you see landmarks including Teatro Massimo, the Palermo Cathedral and the Royal Palace of Palermo (Palazzo dei Normanni)— part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop by the Chiesa del Gesù (Casa Professa), an elaborate 16th-century church, and view the Palazzo Pretorio (Palace of the Eagles). Stroll around the Piazza Pretoria and Piazza Bellini, and browse tempting treats in renowned food markets that offer Sicilian cuisine.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
From  
US$32.20
From  
US$32.20
See Details

NEW TO VIATOR

Discover Palermo

Walking tour in the heart of the city of Palermo, discovering historical markets, churches and squares. A journey through the history and culture of a unique city in the world.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$34.50
From  
US$34.50
See Details

Palermo and Cefalù Day Trip from Taormina

Say arrivaderci for the day to Taormina and spend some time in Palermo and Cefalù on this intriguing guided day trip. Discover the unique architecture, influenced by the Normans and the Arabs, and learn about the long and interesting history of both places. With your expert local guide, stroll the streets of both cities, taking in the Il Capo market in Palermo and the main cathedral in Cefalù.
  • Duration: 13 hours
  • Duration: 13 hours
From  
US$63.25
From  
US$63.25
See Details


Having trouble booking online?
(888) 651-9785
Call (888) 651-9785