The flooring of the Monreale Cathedral was modelled on that of the Palatine Chapel, although this time the project was not uniform. In the first phase, only the floor of the presbytery was completed.
In the 16th century, the old flooring of the Cathedral’s central nave, up to the presbytery, was almost completely replaced by the current flooring. The flooring, commissioned by Alessandro Farnese in 1569, is entirely marble and decorated with opus sectile mosaics with geometric motifs in a style follows that of the walls. The work was entrusted to the Palermitan marble worker Baldassare Massa. The Farnese coat of arms with fleurs-de-lis and the inscription ALEX(ANDER) CARD(INALIS) FARNESIUS S(ACRAR) R (OMANAE) E(CCLESIE) VICECA(N)CELLARIUD ARCHIEP(ISCOU)S M(ONTIS) R(EGALIS) A(N)NO MDLXIIIIII can be seen in front of the main portal; King William’s coat of arms can be seen in the centre, and again another Farnese coat of arms can be seen in front of the choir balustrade.
The flooring of the aisles was commissioned, at the same time as the construction of the Chapel of San Castrense, by Archbishop Ludovico II de Torres and laid in 1590. The archbishop wanted his coat of arms in the centre of the right aisle floor, in front of the chapel door. On the opposite side, the Norman royal star of William II is featured again. The geometric motif of the interlaced bands dominates both the nave and the side aisles . The presbytery flooring, on the other hand, consists of 48 panels, four of which have a quincunx motif, while the others have Islamic-style geometric decorations.