Great views, food and wine
No pictures in or from the museum
Gets my vote a country mile ahead of Mondello in Palermo
The cathedral was the primary reason I chose to come to Cefalù. The Duomo dates back to the Norman era and contains some of the best preserved mosaics in all of Sicily. So it was a no-brainer that I would stop here. It seemed larger than life in the middle of the pedestrian district of Cefalù, taller than many of the buildings that surround it. La...more
At the front of the cathedral displayed high on the apse is Christ Pantocrator holding an open book with Greek and Latin words stating “I am the Light of the World: he that followesth me shall not walk in darkness.” The mosaic figure, along with the rest of the mosaics in the Cefalù, is considered to be some of the best preserved and earliest...more
When you are in Cefalù, you can’t miss La Rocca. It is that massive rock that dominates the city, making even the large Norman cathedral tiny next to it. La Rocca stands 278 m (912 feet) tall. At the top are several ruins from different time periods – the Temple of Diana from the 5th century BC, a fort believed to be from the Byzantine era, and at...more
Near the fortification ruins and the Temple of Diana is a house-like structure that has stones dating back to the 9th century BC. The portal or doorway of this house is made with these massive megalithic stones, most likely found on La Rocca and used later for this structure. There are some signs nearby that can help explain what visitors are...more
I found the fortification ruins to be the most interesting. Along the edge of La Rocca, but not at the higher summit, and overlooking the city of Cefalù, there were just a few remains of the fort where guards would watch over the city. The castellated walls give it a fortress look and visitors can look down on the city. There is an arch in the...more
At the very top of La Rocca (the summit is 278 meters – or 912 feet) are the ruins of a 12th-13th century castle. Realizing that the safest place to put a castle is at the top of the hill, I still have to wonder how the people initially got up there to build it!We climbed up to the very top of La Rocca and found the castle ruins. Essentially it was...more
The Temple of Diana is one of the lower structures to be seen on La Rocca. After passing through the gate of the fortifications, you can choose to head straight up to the temple – still a bit of a climb, but not as high up as the castle ruins. If you choose to go to the castle first, you can get to the temple on your way back down.The Temple of...more
Walking through Cefalù is a pleasant outing. There are so many things to see and, on a day other than Sunday, shops to visit and eateries to dine at. The Piazza Duomo is the heart of the area with the cathedral standing at the head of it. The narrow streets are cobblestone so be careful and wear good sturdy shoes. While this is a pedestrian zone,...more
Once you climb above the roofline the view changes dramatically. The higher you climb, the better panorama of Cefalu you get. If you enlarge the photo you'll see the wide path made up of large steps meandering up the hill (the bottom left-hand corner). The path leads to the fortified entrance in the massive stone wall surrounding the hill, which...more
The cathedral at cefalu is exquisite. It is open to the public and if staying in the town or just visiting you must take a look.Commissioned by Ruggero 11, construction began in the 12th Century and was finished in the 13th. Byzantine mosaics in abundance. Dont forget though, ladies must cover their shoulders.more
Another adventage of visiting La Rocca off season (and Cefalu in general) is lack of crowds. We spent quite a few hours on the hill and within this period of time we met just a few other people, but mostly, we had the whole place to ourselves. This is one of the solitary views I captured with my camera, unspoiled by any wandering tourist.more
Cefalu Sea Palace is quite a new hotel with gleaming, snazzy interior decor and balconies...more
This is a 4 star hotel in a mediterranean style. Located on a little bay about 2 Km from the centre...more
We booked our rooms with Ma&Mi B&B, but they offered us an appartment in the center of the town and...more
Two Large restaurants about 5 stores apart. Great decor with wood oven for pizzas. The large menu and portions makes swapping and sampling between guests ideal. The set dishes are great: 4 - 5 courses for 20 - 35 Euros. We shared the different ones to get a great selection of different Sicilian dishes. Those that ordered the Swordfish Spada were...more
After climbing La Rocca, we headed to the cathedral. But before that, we decided to grab something to eat. Bar Duomo was right there at the Piazza Duomo and, being a Sunday, was one of the few places open to eat. We each got a slice of pizza and a soda; Hubby naturally went back for gelato. The pizza was okay – I think we were just hungry. But the...more
This is a very nice cafe located on the corner of the Piazza in front of the Duomo. The tables are nicly situated to take in the scene. The cafe and service were very good. It seemed a little less expensive that table service in Rome. There is a nice counter if you wish to stand as well.They have cafe in the morning and harder drinks in the...more
A wondeful restaurant with very nice service stuff is the Al Gabbino.We stay there at a evening in March 2010. The menu card is voluminous, elaborate and with a good price level.If you get a place at the big window, you can look outside and see the bay of Cefalú.Dont miss this... We take fish with a cream of pine nuts, fennel and something else....more
Trappitu is one of those places where you walk in and think you've made a mistake by doing so. On a warm day, just keep walking and you will come to a beautiful cantilevered terrace hanging over the ocean. We always eat at Trappitu when we're in Cefalu. On a calm day, the terrace is opened up and you eat with the waves lapping against the rocks...more
Having driven to Cefalù, we needed to find parking. It was a Sunday afternoon when we arrived and we didn’t have too much trouble finding street parking about 10 minutes away from the main pedestrian section of town. Parking was inexpensive and you aren’t charged for two hours in the middle of the day, so we paid for 2 hours and got 4 hours on our...more
We drove to Cefalù along the A20, getting off at the nearby exit. There is no exit right at Cefalù so drivers need to be aware that the exit will be several miles before the city; you then have to drive along the narrower coast road – not a bad thing since this very beautiful. The A20 is a toll road and made up of a series of tunnels and bridges....more
Train direct from the airport itself to Palermo Centrale and then find a train rattling down the Palermo Messina line (change train). Palermo Centrale doesn't have too many platforms and has displays showing the stops. Cefalu is about 12 stops down the line. The station before Cefalu is Lascari - Gratteri.Some of the trains going down the Palermo...more
It is shop selling wine, liquores and oil (mostly).They have good prices and people working there will suggest you sncerely good wine. I was very satisfied with the prices.People are very nice. I bought a Sicilian wine which I tasted in the restaurant. Nero d'Avola - Syrah of Sant Agostino 10 EURmore
Capriccio Siciliano is very nice shop ruled by very nice people. You'll find a lot of similar shops in Siciliy, but I'd suggest this one to everyone because I bought very good products with good prices and people that work there were really nice.They give you to taste e.g. Marsala and don't be affraid you are obliged to buy it if you don't like...more
All along the main road crossing Santo Stefano di Camastra you'll find wonderful exposition of locally made ceramics. Those are really wonderful pieces of artcrafts. The local technique is based on old traditions and this is one among the most popular spot in Sicily for this peculiar kind of art. There are also "antique" designs that are...more
It is commonly believed Italians think about animals as far as they are good to eat: I cannot deny there's some truth in this... So, Sicily is a Paradise for tuna-fish lovers: forget about the canned stuff, it has no comparison at all with what you may experience in Sicily, where tuna-fish capture is an old tradition (now it disapperaed, because...more
Sicilian pastry is great! It has strong influences from the Arabic world and the basic component is almond, or "marzapane": a sweet paste obtained by almonds, sugar, egg yolk and "acqua di zagare", i.e. orange-flowers water. Pistache is also very important, as the area of Bronte (on the North-East slope of Etna volcano) is the only traditional...more
113 Reviews and Opinions
Should you decide to make the climb up the steep rock that dominates Cefalù, be warned that is not for those that are out of shape or fearful of heights. It is a steep, long uphill climb that begins with deceptive wide steps and becomes a jagged narrow rocky trail. Don’t get me wrong – by all means make the climb if you are able because it is well worth it. Just be aware that many people may not be able to climb all the way to the top. I also would not recommend this with small children – not only is it very steep, but there are multiple areas where a small child could get injured or fall.
Now, if you have decided that you are going to make the climb, come prepared:
Wear sturdy shoes. You don’t need hiking boots, but flip flops or sandals won’t do. I had my standard walking shoes that I wear on all my hikes and they were just fine.
Bring water. Especially on hot days. You will need it. Snacks if you need them would be a good idea.
Bring a camera (but you probably don’t want to lug all your gear with you!). You won’t regret having I with you once you see the views.
We read on the signs that the hike takes 45 minutes up and back. No way – 45 minutes up and that is if you don’t stop to look at everything. Allow a good 2-3 hours minimum for the climb and to enjoy all the structures and sights at the top.
Watch your step while up there! A herd of wild goats roams La Rocca. They are pretty good at keeping out of sight, but not so good at not leaving their droppings all over the trails and rocks.
Most important, take your time and enjoy the workout. You will be rewarded for your efforts by the views…and the gelato when you get back down to town!
When you climb to the top of LaRoca you will pass some very well preserved stone ovens. This same type of oven is still used all over southern Italy to make those excellent pizzas.The flattened dome shape of these ovens are specifically designed to cook food by focusing the heat onto the food placed on the floor of the oven. Like a lens focusing...more
The Northern border of Sicily is not very good for beaches, most of them are made by gravels, so they are not very comfortable to lie over. A few exceptions in Cefalu, San Vito lo Capo and maybe a few other places. Anyway, the waters are perfect, provided you accept to made without the sand.more
One of my favorite parts of La Rocca was the view! It made all that climbing worth it! From the high vantage point, we were treated to views of the city, the mountains, the sea, as well as ancient structures and interesting plant life. It was easy for me to take photos from this location and we were blessed to be there on a clear sunny day. The sun...more