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"Cefalu" Top 5 Page for this destination Sicilia Things to Do Tip by mircaskirca

Sicilia Things to Do: 200 reviews and 512 photos

  typical street and Cathedral in the background
by mircaskirca
  • typical street and Cathedral in the background - Sicilia
      typical street and Cathedral in the background
    by mircaskirca
  • patio with tiled detail - Sicilia
      patio with tiled detail
    by mircaskirca
  • an elegant old building - Sicilia
      an elegant old building
    by mircaskirca
  • view of Cefalu - Sicilia
      view of Cefalu
    by mircaskirca

Cefalu is the perfect example of picturesque splendour and one of yet undiscovered jewels of Sicily. Compared with Taormina, it's still not quite as developed. It remains a fairly small-scale fishing port and a heaven of tranquility. Nestled between the Madonie mountains and the sea, with its winding, narrow medieval streets, historic sights and delightful restaurants overlooking a rocky coast, Cefalu is a wonderful place to spend a couple of days.

Founded in ancient times possibly by the Phoenicians, Cefalu owes its name to the rock shaped like a human head (from the Greek 'kephale') known as La Rocca (the Rock), looming over the town. A steep 20-minute climb takes you to the Tempio di Diana (Temple of Diana). From here there are wonderful views of the town below. Though Cefalu's origins are hidden in mystery, its period of greatest splendour was at the time of Norman domination, under Roger II. He also constructed the awesome Cathedral, the major attraction in town. The narrow streets of the city centre are lined with buildings featuring very detailed architectural decoration, absorbing the characteristics of its Roman, Byzantine and Arab rulers. The fishermen's quarter, with its old houses clustered along the seafront, is very attractive, as is the long beach with fine sand, considered to be one of the most beautiful stretches on the northern coast.

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  • Updated Jul 27, 2008
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