We arrived to Cefalu quite late. The view of Cefalu Cathedral and city was very mesmerizing.
Parking though is somewhat tricky as access to the city centre is restricted and quite difficult to understand the signs.
The hotel was quite nice with a nice roof top views!
First stop was to visit Cefalu Cathedral and see the Jesus mosaic. In my opinion, it was the best compared to Monreale and Palermo ones.
Cefalu Cathedral is one of the most important and historic churches in Sicily. The cathedral was built in the 12th century by Roger II, the Norman king of Sicily, and is dedicated to Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, also known as the Church of Admiral George of Antioch. The original structure was a simple Romanesque building with three apses, but in the 17th century it was decorated in the Baroque style and an additional apse was added. Over the centuries, the cathedral has been enlarged and altered several times, and today it features a mix of styles ranging from Romanesque to Baroque, Renaissance, and Neo-Classical. Inside the cathedral, there are several works of art, including a 15th-century wooden crucifix, a mosaic floor, and a 16th-century fresco of the Madonna and Child. The cathedral is also home to the tomb of Admiral George of Antioch, who was responsible for the building of the cathedral.
Cefalù Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the Sicilian city of Cefalù. It is one of the most important religious sites in Sicily, and was built in the 12th century during the Norman period. The cathedral was built on the site of an ancient Greek temple dedicated to Aphrodite, and the project was commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily. The finished structure features a large Norman-style bell tower and an interior with Byzantine mosaics, one of the most impressive in the world. Throughout the centuries, the cathedral has undergone several restorations and expansions, including the addition of a Baroque façade in the 18th century. Today, the cathedral is a popular tourist attraction, and its mosaics are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Make sure you are not wearing tank top as you won’t be allowed to enter. Entrance is free of charge though.
The cathedral is most famous for its beautiful mosaic of Jesus, located in the apse. The mosaic was created in the 12th century and is believed to have been designed by Byzantine or Arab craftsmen. The mosaic depicts Jesus enthroned in the center, surrounded by the four evangelists, and angels. It is one of the oldest and most important surviving examples of its kind in the world.
The cathedral is also home to a number of other works of art, such as the 12th-century frescoes of the Last Judgment, a series of paintings from the 15th century depicting the life of St. Peter, and a 15th-century wooden crucifix.
The Church of Saint Stephen Protomartire in Cefalu was originally built in the 11th century, but it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1693. It was reconstructed and reconsecrated in 1715, and the present church dates back to this time. The church is noted for its Baroque style and its ornate decoration, which includes an impressive fresco on the ceiling depicting Saint Stephen being stoned to death. The interior of the church also includes several altars and an elaborate organ. The church is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims who come to admire its beauty and historic significance.
Then wondering the streets of Cefalu we went to Rocca di Cefalu.
Entrance was 4€ per person and we were able to pay by card!
The hot weather didn’t make it easy to climb the steps. Great that we had plenty of water!
First we reached the Temple of Diana, or what is left of it, as it was mainly ruins.
The Temple of Diana in Cefalu is an ancient Greek temple and it is believed to have been built around the 5th century BC and is thought to be one of the oldest and best-preserved temples in Sicily. The temple stands on a hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and is dedicated to the goddess Diana. It is believed to have been used as a temple of worship and as a place of refuge during times of danger. The temple is made of stone and brick and is decorated with a number of ancient Greek sculptures. It is a popular tourist attraction in Cefalu and is one of the most photographed monuments in Sicily. The temple was restored in the 18th century and is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Then we took around from a panoramic viewpoint, which had amazing views.
Climbing up had more and more views!
Finally we reached the ruins of Castello di Cefalù!
The Castello di Cefalù, located in the historic center of the town of Cefalù in Sicily, Italy, is a medieval fortress built in the 11th century as a defense against invaders. The castle was built by the Norman King Roger II on a promontory overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was later enlarged and modified by the Aragonese and Spanish rulers who occupied Sicily in the 16th century. The castle is now open to the public and houses the Museo Mandralisca, an art museum and archaeological collection. The castle is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including a medieval fair and the annual Cefalù Jazz Festival.
The Torre Caldura is a medieval tower was built in the 14th century as a defensive structure and overlooks the city from a hilltop. The tower is one of the oldest surviving structures in Cefalu, and is a popular tourist attraction. The tower was likely constructed by the Angevin dynasty, who ruled Sicily in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. It was used as an observation point to watch for potential invaders, and to signal the start of the day. In the 16th century, the tower was integrated into the city’s fortifications along with other watchtowers and walls. In 1783, a lightning strike caused an explosion that destroyed much of the tower’s upper floors, and it was left in a state of disrepair until it was restored in 2010. A very good view of Torre Caldura is from the top of the hill, where temple of Diana is located.
Then all the way down and to the beach.
I love the signs in Sicily! I doubt anyone can understand them. Sometimes the arrows point to wrong direction, e.g. left arrow can mean straight ahead.
A lot of places in the beach were empty as it was around 5pm.
We stopped at supermarket and since we didn’t have bottle opener we got a tetra pack wine for around 1€ for 1l. Bargain!
I believe this beach is near by where some scenes of White Lotus season 2 was filmed. Easy recognise by the hill and the Cathedral towers.
After some rest in hotel we went out for another walk. First was ancient laundry place – Lavatoio Medievale Fiume Cefalino. I loved this sign of how you must walk in public. No beach attire! 😂🤣 Feel free to wear your flip flops though.
The Lavatoio Medievale Fiume Cefalino, or Medieval Washing Pool of the Cefalino River, is located in Cefalu, Sicily. It dates back to the Middle Ages when it was used as a communal washing area for the local people. The pool is made up of two streams that meet in a large rectangular basin. It is located in the historic center of the city, near the Cathedral and other monuments from the same period.
The pool was built in the 13th century during the reign of the Norman King Frederick II. It is an example of the engineering and architectural skills of the time and is one of the few remaining medieval washing pools in Sicily. The pool was used until the 19th century, when it became a public garden.
Today, the pool is a popular tourist attraction and a popular place to take pictures. It is a symbol of the rich history of the city and is a reminder of a simpler times.
Next stop Porta Pescara.
Then watching waves and sunset nearby at the special mall.