More Photos and videos from Beautiful Cefalù

Video: The Best of Sicily by Rick Steves

 

 

 

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Seminario vescovile di Cefalù

Seminario vescovile di Cefalù on the piazza below the cathedral. Building from the 16th century

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Cefalù is one of the major tourist attractions in Sicily. It is a charming small city on the north coast of Sicily, about 70 kilometres east of Palermo. It has a medieval character, and the unfinished Norman cathedral, begun by Roger II in 1131, is impressive inside and outside. The rock called Rocca di Cefalù forms a dramatic backdrop to the cathedral and the old city; climbing the rock is very rewarding. The name Cefalù is derived from the Greek ’Kephaloidion’ comes from the head-like shape of the rock which towers above the town.

Cefalù was for some years in the 1920s the home of the necromancer Aleister Crowley and his more or less disturbed followers. His Temple of Thelema (near the football stadium) now lies in ruins (see photos here). Crowley was eventually arrested, found guilty of immoral behaviour (sex with goats was not considered OK at the time), and expelled from Italy. The owners tried to sell the property for a ridiculous sum some years ago, but didn't find any buyers.

 

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Cefalu

Time has left its stamp on Cefalù.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

 

 

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Cefalù

Houses by the sea seen from the mountain.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Cefalù, La Rocca

Girls relaxing at the old port, which is used in a scene in Giuseppe Tornatore's beautiful film Cinema Paradiso (it. Nuovo Cinema Paradiso). Click here for more film locations in Sicily.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

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Norman cathedral in Cefalù, Sicily

The Cathedral in Cefalù (Duomo Basilica Cattedrale) is one of Sicily's most important buildings from the Norman domination of the island. It was Roger II who started the construction in 1131.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

 

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Deserted building on the mountain called La rocca di Cefalù.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

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Cefalù beach.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

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The beach in April.

 

 

Pieta. Sculptor by Roberto Giacchino, Cefalù. Olive wood carving.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

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The bridge by the sea.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

 

 

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Cefalù by the sea.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Antonello da Messina: Portrait of an unknown man (1465)

Museo Mandralisca: Ritratto di un Uomo Ignoto (Portrait of an unknown man) by Antonello da Messina, painted in 1465. This is the museum's jewel.

It is the items collected by baron Enrico Piraino di Mandralisca (1809-1864) that is exhibited in the museum.

 

 

 

 

The Church of the Purgatorio (Santo Stefano Promartire), Corso Ruggero 104/106

The Church of the Purgatorio (Santo Stefano Promartire) between Corso Ruggero 104 and 106. The church was built in the 15th century. Notice the skulls, for details see the page Death in Sicily.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

 

Sicily

One of the numerous narrow streets in old Cefalù.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

CLICK HERE to go to the main page about Cefalù!

 

 

The great comedian Sebastian Maniscalco on visiting Cefalù, where his father grew up

Sebastian Maniscalco on visiting Cefalù

"This trip to Italy has been long overdue. This was my first time there and my father hasn't been back for 50 years. Rome and Florence were a lot of sight-seeing and a lot of walking. The second half of the trip to Ravello and Sicily, have been a lot more relaxing and emotional. We went back to where my father grew up in a small fishing town outside Palermo called Cefalu and I saw the apartment where my father spent his first 15 years of his life. To watch my father relive his childhood right in front of me brought me to tears." (Maniscalco interviewed by OC Weekly)

 

 

 

For information about guided tours in Sicily, please contact Jean Paul Barreaud by email: siciliasvelata@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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Parking in Sicily

The tips below are just suggestions. Many find it better to have a specific place to go to, but if you're comfortable with driving around and just see where you end up, please do. You may find better parking than these recommendations, or you may get trapped in a one-way labyrith. If you really want to prepare for your arrival in a Sicilian town, we found it very helpful to use Google Maps and choose Street View.

  • Agrigento: There are several parking lots close to the Valley of the Temples.
  • Bagheria: Very close to Villa Palagonia, you'll probably find parking. Start looking at Via Don Luigi Sturzo, 7
  • Caccamo: Parking in the street when you arrive, just before the castle. Or in the Piazza Duomo.
  • Castelbuono: Parking near the castle is the most obvious choice but it can be full.
  • Castelmola: In Via Cuculunazzo there is a small parking garage. It is not possible to park in the village itself.
  • Catania: There is a large (and cheap) parking lot in front of Hotel Mercure Catania Excelsior, Piazza Giovanni Verga 39
  • Cefalù: The street along the beach (Lungomare Giuseppe Giardina) has lots of parking spaces, but you'll have to pay. There's also parking near the railway station. If you really want to park for free, and you don't mind walking for 10-15 minutes, you could try the cemetary.
  • Gibilmanna: Usually no problems parking near the church.
  • Linguaglossa: Park in the street near the 18th century Church Chiesa Madre.
  • Modica: We found lots of parking spaces in Viale Medaglie D'Oro, but you'll (probably) have to pay at a nearby bar(!). We paid, but no one else seemed to bother …
  • Monreale: Make it easy and use the parking garage in Via Palermo 102. 150 m to the cathedral. You can even stay here and take a taxi down to Palermo centre if you want to choose the easiest solution.
  • Noto: If you don't mind walking 5-7 minutes, we recommend going for the free parking in Via Napoli as you approach the centre. Look for parking after you have passes the petrol station on the right. Close to the city gate, you can park (and pay) in Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Unemployed, criminal looking men may want to protect the car for you.
  • Palermo: Avoid car if you can. It is easier to park during the riposo (siesta). See under Monreale.
  • Ragusa superiore: Parking opposite the Best Western Hotel Mediterraneo Palace (aka Mediterraneo Palace) in Via Roma 185 (Montalbano location!). Parking marked with blue lines, meaning you have to pay. Also: At Piazza Matteotti (by the Post office from the Mussolini period), there is an underground parking house. Entrance via Corso Italia, next to number 53.
    Ragusa Ibla: There are parking lots in Via Avvocato Giovanni Ottaviano, near the Q8 petrol station. Here is a link to the place in Google Street View.
  • Segesta: Big parking lot near the entrance.
  • Selinunte: Big parking lot near the entrance of the archeological site.
  • Termini Imerese: Parking near the cathedral.

If you see any errors or have any tips, please inform us via email, Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

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