La Rocca, locally called u castieddu (the castle), is a fortified cliff 268 meters high overlooking the beautiful town of Cefalù, rising on the Tyrrhenian coast, one of the most important reference points for navigation between Palermo and Messina. The relief of La Rocca has at its base a triangle with the ridges facing east, west and south. On all sides, the Rocca is characterized by very high cliffs that are practically inaccessible. The complex of fortifications (lower walls, upper walls and the castle on the top) is therefore adapted to the extraordinary topography of the site, constituting a real acropolis. The lower western part of La Rocca is characterized by the ruins of a series of mills and pipelines that collected and exploited the water that descended on the slope. On this side, the path fortified in the Middle Ages climbs to the top of the hill. The perimeter halfway to the top is surrounded by crenellated walls dating back to the Middle Ages and completed, in the recent part, in the 15th century. On the western side of the walls, opens the access gate to which the path leads. Still halfway up the hill, about 150 meters above Read more [...]
One of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italy is well known for its rich art and culture, and for its numerous landmarks. With 54 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the world, and an estimated 100,000 monuments of any sort (churches, palaces, museums, fountains, sculptures and archaeological remains), Italy is home to about half of the world’s artistic treasures. And if you are looking for inspiration, find below a list of the most famous tourist attractions in Cefalù, Sicily…
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. SHORT HISTORY 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. ARCHITECTURE 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 Read more [...]
Lungomare is a beautiful long sandy beach in Cefalù, a fantastic place both for tourists and locals to enjoy the warm sunshine of Sicily. The beach is about 5 kilometers long, starts from the edge of the old center of Cefalù and runs alongside a promenade lined with hotels, restaurants and shops. In the summer time, you can find plenty of private lidos, with sunbeds and umbrellas, but there are also public areas that you can enjoy for free. Due to the shallow waters, the Lungomare beach is popular with families. In July and August, the beach can be very crowded, but the atmosphere is nice. HOW TO GET THERE From the Cefalù Train Station, to the Lungomare Beach, are about 600 meters, or about 6 minutes on foot.
Torre Caldura (Caldura Tower) is one of the coastal watch towers in Cefalù, and the most important of them, part of the immense historical and architectural heritage of Sicily. Dating back to the 16th century, Torre Caldura is, today, in a profound state of deterioration, with portions of masonry frequently collapsing. Its profile overlooking the cliff has always characterized the image of Cefalù for those coming from the east, and is now an integral part of this landscape, depicted in many paintings and photographs. HOW TO GET THERE Torre Caldura is about 3.1 kilometers away from the Cefalù Train Station, located near the Presidiana Harbour, the main port of Cefalù.
Cefalù Cathedral, or Duomo di Cefalù, is a beautiful church built in Norman architectural style in Cefalù, dominating the skyline of the medieval town with its fortress-like appearance. SHORT HISTORY The Cathedral of Cefalù was built by Roger II of Altavilla, King of Sicily, Puglia and Calabria, in the year 1131. According to the legend, the king, traveling by ship from Salerno to Palermo, came across a storm, and vowed to build a church there, after he landed safe on the city’s beach. The work began with the laying of the foundation stone on Sunday, June 7, the day of Pentecost, in the year 1131. The king was present at the ceremony, along with the Archbishop of Messina Ugone and the Sicilian nobility. In 1145, the church was established as the mausoleum of the royal family of Altavilla, but the will of Roger II was never fulfilled, because he died suddenly on February 28, 1154, in Palermo, and was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of Palermo, where he is still resting. At the death of Roger II, only the presbytery area of the church had been completed, and in the following years, the interest moved to the Read more [...]
There is not much to say about the Old Port of Cefalù and, in this case, the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is completely true. The old fishing port, known also as the Molo, certainly offers one of the most bewitching views of the city. The small beach, the rocks that enclose it, the 70-meter pier, the balconies of the buildings overlooking the sea, the shape of the cathedral and the green hill of Rocca in the background makes the picture perfect. Near the port, there is also the only one of the four gates of the medieval city still standing, Porta Pescara, consisting of a Gothic arch that overlooks the small beach where the small and colorful fishermen’s boats are resting. HOW TO GET THERE The Old Port is about 1 kilometer away from the Cefalù Train Station, no more than 15 minutes on foot. From the edge of the historical center of the city to Piazza Marina, near the old port, there are about 250 meters. The historical centre of Cefalù is small and you can easily cross it on foot in about 15 minutes. But if you will allow yourself time to look Read more [...]