Around the same time as the Norman Conquest of England––1066 and all that––the Normans carved out lands for themselves in southern Italy and also in the wealthy island of Sicily that had been part of the Byzantine empire before falling to the Muslims. Ruling over its diverse peoples, the Norman conquerors formed a lasting frontier between Christian Europe and Muslim Africa, and, in so doing, they created a kingdom that was like no other in Europe – a multifaith, multilingual and multicultural state that employed officials and scholars of different religions; used hybrid art and architecture from Islamic, Byzantine, and Romanesque models, and made Latin, Greek and Arabic its official languages. So, how did this Norman Conquest happen? And why did this unique state emerge?
The epicentre of this experimental new kingdom was the island of Sicily itself with its old Arab capital at Palermo. Following the path of the Norman Conquest across the island, this tour will offer a rare and expert view of people, power, art and faith by exploring the towns, palaces, churches, castles, and dramatic landscapes of this remarkable island that was once the richest part of medieval Europe.
- Exclusive access to Cappella Palatina grants us expert insights and the luxury of space and peace to reflect on this crown jewel of Norman architecture.
- Follow the path of the Norman Conquest across this island
- Trace the remains of the Byzantine empire before it fell to the Muslims
- Explore a kingdom that was like no other in Europe - a multifaith, multilingual and multicultural state
- Discover towns, palaces, churches, castles and landscapes of Sicily, which was once the richest and most densely populated region of the medieval period.
- Historic Churches
- Special Access
- Low Single Supplement
- All Inclusive
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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