Discover Cefalu, a rare gem in northern Sicily!
Cefalu, in northern Sicily, is a surprising city! Little sought after by tourists, the city is in the list of The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy. It is a seaside resort full of history, culture and beauty, at 70 km from Palermo, and if you are in Sicily, consider including this city in your itinerary. Let’s get to our post of the day! Discover Cefalu, a rare gem in northern Sicily! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Watch this video about the charming Cefalu, in Sicily!
(Source: Aníbal Clemente)
Cefalu has several prehistoric evidences, what indicates that the city is, indeed, very old. There are, particularly, two caves that open to the northern side of the promontory where the city was built, which contain many clear indications of the city origins. The ‘walls’ of the city date from the end of the 5th century BC and still surround the current center, including the Contemporary Temple of Diana, in a sanctuary covered by stone slabs that houses an old cistern from the 9 th century BC. In 307 BC, the city was dominated by the people of Syracuse, and in 254 BC, by the Romans. If you are in Palermo, take a tour to Monreale and Cefalu, click here to learn more.
Get to know a little of Cefalu History
The city had a regular urban structure, some secondary roads and closed in the shape of a ring, which surrounded the city. When the Byzantine people took over , the city changed places and, from that time, ruins of fortifications, churches, barracks, water tanks and ovens remained. Despite that, the old city was not totally abandoned and was there that the found, recently, a building of Christian worship, with a polychrome-mosaic floor that dates back to the 6 th century. Also read Seven-day Itinerary in Sicily with public transport ! or Car itinerary in Sicily!
Cefalu also was under Arab rule, in 858, and became part of the Palermo emirate. From this period, there are few records. In 1063, it was conquered by the Normans and, in 1131, its ancient part was reoccupied using the abandoned structure. Important monuments, such as the San Giorgio Church, and the washhouse that is at via Vittorio Emanuele, are from that time. In addition, the Cathedral cloister and the Maria Palace (which became Comunale Palace in the 15th century), located in the Duomo Square, date from this period too. Nowadays, Cefalu is a seaside resort and a tourist destination for its beautiful beaches and its priceless historical value. Also read Which are the ten must-see cities in Sicily?
1) Discover Cefalu, a rare gem in northern Sicily!
Definetely, there are unmissable places in the city. Visit the Mandralisca Museum, which is like an art book and preserves works ranging from the 6th century to the 17th century, and the amazing Malacology Library, which is a historic library and works as an art gallery, where there are true icons of Byzantine art , 17th-century paintings and the famous portrait of the “Unknown”, credited to Antonello.
2) Discover Cefalu, a rare gem in northern Sicily! VISIT FORTRESS, TEMPLE AND CAVES
The city’s fortress is also a show of its own. The breathtaking view of the Tyrrhenian Sea is breathtaking for even the most demanding tourists. The Temple of Diana, a megalithic building linked to the cult of water, is one of the city’s jewels. Be sure to visit it! Another interesting tour is to visit the prehistoric remains of the city of Ruggero in the two caves, called Delle Giumente and Delle Colombe, which are on the northern side of Rocca.
3) Discover Cefalu, a rare gem in northern Sicily! VISIT THE HISTORICAL CENTER
In the Historic Center, very peculiar, of course the Cefalu Cathedral is worth mentioning. The Cathedral is a sumptuous monument of Sicilian-Norman art from 1131. Its exterior is characterized by its two tall towers, while inside, like a treasure chest, it reveals a beautiful mosaic in the center of the apse, from 1148. The Romanesque baptismal sink, the wooden cross painted by William de Pesaro and the image of the Madonna with Jesus, Antonello Gagini – from 1533 – draw attention. Attached to the Cathedral is the Cloister, the lavatory, decorated with attached columns and sculpted images.
Osterio, Cícero Theater and the Church of Purgatory
A visit to Osterio, the great monument of the 13th century, which was the summer residence of a noble local family, the Ventimiglia, is also unmissable! Cícero Theater is also interesting! Take the opportunity to take a walk along the Corso Ruggero, which will allow you to observe buildings of the most diverse architectures, such as the Church of Purgatory.
4) Discover Cefalu, a rare gem in northern Sicily! VISIT THE BEACHES
The city’s beaches are another show apart! One is more beautiful than the other! The golden sand, the crystal-clear water and the tones that the sun gives to these elements are fascinating! The entire coastline offers excellent options for those who want to spend the day at sea: they are not deep waters, there is an excellent structure of bars and restaurants and, in high season, the sun sets after 8 pm, that is: enough time to take the maximum enjoyment of this piece of paradise on earth!
Where to Eat in Cefalu?
If you want great places to grab a bite to eat, below are indications that are worth visiting!
Cefalu: Dinner in the Madonie Mountains
- Enjoy dinner in one of the most beautiful mountain villages in Madonie National Park on a 5-hour tour from Cefalu.
- Enjoy a typical Sicilian meal in a stunning setting, while the local folk music offers a scenario …
Pasta & Meals by Musumeci Teresa Cefalù
- Notes: the place is super charming and offers great options! The portions are hearty and the price is excellent!
- Where is it: Via Roma, 17, 90015, Cefalù, Sicily, Italy.
- Hours: from Wednesday to Monday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It doesn’t open on Tuesdays.
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Discover Cefalu, a rare gem in northern Sicily! Cefalu is the type of city that combines history, great cuisine, sea, nature and impressive monuments. If you were in doubt whether to include the city in your itinerary or not, a friend advice: include it! You will not regret!
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