This is what everyone looks at inside, really magnificent!!!!
Norman architecture from the outside, Byzantine icons from the inside! Felt like back home, only the weather was nicer ;))) Oh, my! What a place!
Was told that the same image is in Monreale cathedral near Palermo, but haven't been there....
qua vetus opportunus parcus
"greek, arabic and roman"
Over the last thirty years, Cefalu has become a nice little tourist resort with hotels springing up everywhere. There's a small, clean beach with bars and restaurants strategically inerspersed. At the foot of the Madonie mountains, Cefalu has a lot going for it. Easily reached from Falcone Intl Airport/Palermo and with a very touristy feel about it. There's a wonderful Norman cathedral(open to the public)and a visit to the ruins of the Temple of Diana is worthwhile.
Trip into the Madonie mountains
"An excellent day out"
We booked a day trip into the Madonie mountains and were picked up in a mini bus in the early morning in Cefalu. After picking up other guests, which gave us an opportunity to see a little more of the town and its surrounds than we had managed to see on foot, we were off into the hills. Our guide, Alice switched effortlessly between English, French and Italian as she explained the local life and sites.
We stopped first to look at a small hillside village where there was a lookout to the coast, with the wind directions named.
We also tasted carob from the pods hanging from a tree.
I was intrigued by a tree branch wound with barbed wire for fencing by the road, as it reminded me of the many makeshift fences in country Australia.
"Santuario di Gibilmanna"
We approached this monastery and church which has a very heavily carved, ornate altar. The staory went that it ws being transported elsewhere and those responsible grew tired and abandonned their journey here.
Another tale told of a period when the monastery was isolated by bad weather and the inhabitants were facing starvation when manna appaered in the form of a sugary substance from the trees, hence the name.
Various miracles were said to have occured at the church, but when we were there it was beautifully decorated with flowers and guests were awaiting the arrival of a wedding party.
At our next stop, we were treated to coffee and canoli filled with freshly made sheep's milk ricotta, a most delicious taste.
This town, like many in the mountains, followed the ridges of the hills and in parts the streets were very steep.
The wild nature of the mountains is apparent in this view of church and ruin against the rock face
The town of Castelbuono was our main destination and we had some time to explre this town where many of the mountain's products are showcased. We tasted the sweet "manna', a little like fary floss, sipped limoncello and tasted sweets before wandering around the streets. The town is dominated by the castle of William the Good, but there are many other ancient buildings.
To the right of the Piazza was the town church where there were beautifully painted, simple altars and remnants of murals on many of the columns.