6 days in Sicily-09/24 - 09/29/2017

Day 3- Monreale -09/26/2017

Lunch at Ciambra

Lunch @Ciambra Monreale Cathedral

Our original plan was to drive to Palermo which is about 3 hours from Catania.  Once we got to Palermo if was impossible to find a parking spot  We drove around without any success, we searched for a parking garage but we could not find one.  We kept circling around for an hour and then we had to give up our plan to visit Palermo and switch to plan B.  Our best bet was to drive to the closest town which is Monreale (20 min from Palermo).  Monreale is a historic town perched up on a hill with picturesque views, and it is also famous for the fine mosaics in the town's great Norman cathedral.


In contrast to Palermo, we found a parking garage right away. The town is up on a hill and this the view from the parking garage.

Monreale is located on the slope of Monte Caputo, overlooking the very fertile valley called "La Conca d'oro" (the Golden Shell), famed for its orange, olive and almond trees.


We stumbled on Ciambra restaurant located in the oldest district of Monreale a stone's throw from the Cathedral.

It was also drizzling and since we did not want to get wet, the restaurant looks very fancy but we opted to get in as we might not be able to find a restaurant close by.

Did not really have a plan but since it is around 1:00PM, we all agreed that we should have a full stomach before visiting the cathedral.


Art work on display on the outside of the restaurant
It said "the pleasure of fresh fish everyday"

Window display view from the inside of the restaurant.


Intimate table for two.

The restaurant is modern, minimalist decor, but so classy.


The main dinning room.


View from our table to the main entrance.


Beside the main dining room, they also have an annex room with a second dinning room.



The menu

Spaghetti with clams and Bottarga ( salted, cured fish roe) - 14


The spaghetti is al dente, perfectly cooked, the clams are fresh, meaty, sweet, and the addition of the salty bottarga created a umami taste.

The plate is also beautifully arranged.

Mixed salad - 5


Roasted Potatoes - 5
Potatoes were fantastic!

Bread- complimentary of the house.

Grilled Mackerel on a bed of sweet and sour vegetables - 14


Beautiful presentation!


Involtini di Spata- (sword fish roll)- 16


Tuna steak with mushrooms and arugula- 16



We ate pretty much the whole thing... not a crumb was left but the time our lunch was over....


Now that our stomach is full, we had to order a nice cup of cappuccino to complete our meal.

It turned out that this is our most expensive lunch during our 6 days trip.  We did not plan to eat here, it was pure chance that we ended up here, and we were very lucky to have an outstanding meal here. Very nice restaurant, so relaxing, great fresh seafood, beautiful presentation, and we got really good service.


We are now heading to the Cathedral of Montreale which is the main attraction.


Next...Cathedral of Monreale




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