Monreale. Sicily. Italy. Above view of the superb 12th century cloisters, the Chiostro dei Benedetini which were part of the old Benedictine abbey attached to the Monreale cathedral. Surrounding a central garden with bay and olive trees, the cloister is a fusion of Arab and Norman art, with its arcades of pointed arches being supported by 228 elegant twin columns with Romanesque capitals. Monreale has almost become an outer suburb of Palermo and is set in the hills only 8 kilolitres from the city.