Val di Mazara, the beauty and the Glory of Arab-Norman Sicily
The sicily of the bright architecture and culture Arab Normanne has its beating heart in its ancient capital, Mazara del Vallo.
From Termini Imerese, passing through Cefalù, Palermo, Trapani, Marsala, and up to Sciacca on the coast, and from the hills of Belice to Sambuca, Bivona and Caltabellotta inland; the Val di Mazara had its nerve center in the city of Mazara del Vallo.
Arab-Norman architecture that spread mainly in Sicily and southern Italy in the 12th century. The adjective "Arab" derives from the strong influence of Arab architects, while the "Norman" adjectives from the dominant royal culture and lineage.
The main examples of this architecture are found throughout Sicily: it is in western Sicily that there is the greatest concentration of large buildings of this unique and particular style. In the province of Palermo and in particular between the municipalities of Palermo, Monreale and Cefalù, as well as in Mazara del Vallo.
Since 3 July 2015, UNESCO has selected nine Arab-Norman buildings, of which seven within the city of Palermo in excellent condition and has included them in the list of world heritage assets: the Royal Palace with the Palatine Chapel , the Cathedral of Palermo, San Giovanni degli Eremiti, the Church of the Martorana, the Church of San Cataldo, the Palazzo della Zisa and the Ponte dell'Ammiraglio, as well as the Cathedral of Cefalù and the Cathedral of Monreale.
Mazara del Vallo, the ancient capital of this Arab-Norman area, was the intellectual crossroads of syncretism between these two cultures. Even today, the city is the cradle of this successful integration by hosting a community of Maghreb origin among the most numerous in Italy. Even today, it boasts a historical district, the Kasbah, where the muezzin chant recalls prayer during the day, between sunny alleys, smells of other latitudes and suggestions of a past in which the Western Sicily was Arab and was Norman.
Bike Tour in Val Di Mazara will be an exciting, active and incredible adventure in this area , rich of art, history, good food and good wine