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Martorana Tours

Martorana
The church known most commonly as the 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
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5 Tours and Activities to Experience Martorana

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Discover Palermo

Discover Palermo

star-5
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.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$36.35
From
US$36.35

Tour Palermo & Monreale from Punta Raisi Airport

Tour Palermo & Monreale from Punta Raisi Airport

star-5
The tour was organized to admire the beauty of the Arab Norman itinerary of Palermo and its markets and historic alleys (Cathedral, Palatine Chapel, Piazza Pretoria, Quattro Canti, Martorana Church, Teatro Massimo, Mercato Ballaro '), visit of Monreale with its extraordinary Duomo and finally stop in the wonderful seaside resort of Mondello with its famous beach and Liberty style villas
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$243.36
Price varies by group size
From
US$243.36
Price varies by group size

Full day tour of Palermo, Monreale and Mondello

Full day tour of Palermo, Monreale and Mondello

The tour was organized to admire the beauty of the Arab Norman itinerary of Palermo and its markets and historic alleys (Cathedral, Palatine Chapel, Piazza Pretoria, Quattro Canti, Martorana Church, Teatro Massimo, Mercato Ballaro '), visit of Monreale with its extraordinary Duomo and finally stop in the wonderful seaside resort of Mondello with its famous beach and Liberty style villas
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$188.60
Price varies by group size
From
US$188.60
Price varies by group size

Sicily Private Tour from Palermo: Monreale, Etna, Taormina, Agrigento (3 days)

Sicily Private Tour from Palermo: Monreale, Etna, Taormina, Agrigento (3 days)

3 days to discover all faces of Sicily: The color of Palermo's market, the history of Agrigento, the heritage of the Etna Volcano and much more. Always escorted by a professional driver and an english or french speaking tour guide.
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$1,170.36
Price varies by group size
From
US$1,170.36
Price varies by group size

Sicily tour from Palermo to Taormina, 6 days, individual group

Sicily tour from Palermo to Taormina, 6 days, individual group

Private tour of Sicily with personal driver for 7 days for visit of the Palermo, Cefalù, Taormina, Syracuse and Etna vulcan with wine tour in winery with lunch and wine tasting Etna wine. This excursion is customised using a driver. A driver is a chauffeur specialized in driving you around, he is able to provide basic historical information, he can show you the main highlights, is knowledgeable and he has an umbrella of information. The driver will take care to give adequate time at all stops and to accommodate special requests when possible, to ensure that your experience in Sicily will be both memorable and enjoyable. The driver is not a Licensed Tour Guide and cannot take you inside monuments. In case you need a Licensed Local Guide you must pay a surcharge and we will arrange for Licensed Guide to meet you directly on the spot.
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  • 6 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$1,216.81
Price varies by group size
From
US$1,216.81
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Martorana?

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