Temple of Diana (Tempio di Diana) is a megalithic structure found about 150 meters above the sea leavel, on the imposing La Rocca, the rocky hill dominating the town of Cefalù.
Some historians have claimed that the Temple of Diana is the oldest structure in Sicily, built in the 5th or 4th century B.C., over an existing cistern associated with the worship of the water. The incorporated dolmenic cistern is considered of proto-historic period by many scholars.
In the 12th century, the structure was used as a chapel, remains of an apse and arched windows being visible in the rear and interior of the temple.
The first official archaeological excavations were made by Pirro Marconi in the first half of the 20th century. The excavations allowed to acquire more informations about the age of the building and its role, the conclusion being that the structure was a temple dedicated to the sun.
The temple has a main entrance oriented to the west, from which starts a corridor leading to the rocky cistern characterized by a dolmenic coverage. The front door is not at the center of the building, but near the north-west corner, measuring 2.68 meters in height and over 1 meter in width.
The floor plan of the temple is rectangular, with the longer side of the building facing west. The temple is preserved to a considerable height, and therefore constitutes a ruin of important dimensions.
The cistern is located on a deep pit of the rock, which has a small pool of water used since ancient times as a reservoir. The tank has a surface area of 19 square meters, with an elliptic shape.
HOW TO GET THERE
Even though the distance from the Cefalù Train Station is about 1 kilometer and the historical center of Cefalù is about 200 meters away, to get to the Temple of Diana you must… climb a little. And because the climbing is tough and the area is wide, to visit the entire complex of La Rocca, be sure to schedule at least one hour, if not more.