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Towns and cities in Sicily

Cefalu', the town that King Roger built

Villas in Sicily near Cefalù >>

Cefalu'Just one hour's drive east of Palermo, sitting serenely between its natural bay and the towering rocky granite mass of La Rocca, is Cefalù.

For a small town, Cefalù offers a great deal, including sandy beaches, winding Mediaeval streets flanked with all manner of shops, excellent restaurants serving the freshest of fish and last but probably first, its unique Norman cathedral.

While Cefalù's origins go back to at least Greek times (the name derives from the ancient Greek word for "Cape"), the town we now know and love was built at the behest of the Norman King, Roger II. Construction of the Cathedral began in 1131 and is an exquisite example of what has been termed "Sicilian Romanesque". Thanks to the splendid mosaic of Christ Pantocrator above the altar, it is twinned with the Palatine Chapel in Palermo and the Duomo in Monreale. Seeing all three on a trip to Sicily is strongly recommended.

Also of interest is the Mediaeval wash house - "lavatoio" - which is fed by a natural spring and the Osterio Magno which, according to tradition was King Roger's very own residence. It now houses art exhibitions.

An ascent of La Rocca presents quite a challenge (especially in the hot summer months) but is an absolute must: the views are spectacular, while the walls of the old Saracen stronghold and the remains of a Temple of Diana (which supposedly dates back to Sicanian-Greek times) are of no little interest.

Directly south of Cefalù is the wonderful Madonie National Park with its charming villages and towns, such as Castelbuono, its delightful scenery, its impressive mountains and some wonderful walking.

It is no coincidence then, that after Taormina and Palermo, Cefalù is probably the most popular tourist town in Sicily, offering, as it does, something for everyone.

Villas in Sicily near Cefalù >>

 

Good ThinkingThe Cathedral is closed from around 12 noon to 3.30-4.00pm, providing the perfect opportunity for a long lunch on the sea terrace of Trappitu.

 1/21 The beach, town and Duomo of Cefalù.  2/21 The long sandy beach of Cefalù.  3/21 Life is wonderfully relaxed in Cefalù.  4/21 Looking out to sea in Cefalù.  5/21 A view over the Duomo and town of Cefalù.  6/21 Piazza del Duomo in Cefalù.  7/21 A detail fo the Duomo of Cefalù.  8/21 The magnificent Christ Pantocrator in the Duomo of Cefalù.  9/21 A more dramatic part of Cefalù's coastline seen from Il Gabbiano.   10/21 A colourful view of the Duomo of Cefalù.  11/21 Walking up La Rocca in Cefalù.  12/21 Cefalù seen from La Rocca high above.  13/21 Fresh fish is guaranteed in Cefalù.  14/21 The beautiful coastline near Cefalù.  15/21 The twin towers of the Duomo of Cefalù.  16/21 Cefalù seen from the water.  17/21 Transparent waters near Cefalù's tourist port.  18/21 All roads lead to the Duomo in Cefalù.  19/21 The Rocca of Cefalù seen from the port.  20/21 Discovering the coast around Cefalù by catamaran...  21/21 Come on in! The water's lovely!