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    Cefalu - Village by the Rock

    Cefalu, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, is one of the busiest holiday destinations and resorts on the island. The city is dominated by a monumental rock that rises up to 270 metres in height already known to the Phoenicians as “promontory of Hercules” on which the Temple of Diana stands, a megalithic building linked to the worship of the water, as indicated by the nearby cistern dating from the 9th-century BC. The historic district is lying in the shadow of this bastion and clings around its beating heart, which is undoubtedly the Duomo, a gigantic cathedral built by King Roger.

    Town of Cefalu

    The cathedral was built in this city and not in Palermo, the capital of the kingdom, following a vow made to the Holy Saviour by King Roger himself, who escaped a storm and landed on the beaches of the village. More likely are the motivations of a political-military nature, given the connotations of the territory and the undeniable characteristics of unnatural fortress and the off the scale proportions of the Basilica, all magnified by the old city megalithic walls whose evidences remain along the cliffs of the Giudecca (Postierla) and at the ancient Porta Terra (today Piazza Garibaldi).

    The Duomo

    The medieval wash-house called Lavatoio is a must see and is fed by a natural spring. Carved entirely out of rock and after descending its suggestive lava stone, curved steps, we find ourselves in a half-covered space hosting a number of ancient basins, fed by the Cefalino river that flows out from twenty-two iron lion-shaped mouths. This special setting, full of history and culture, we are thrown back into the past, among songs screamed by the Sicilian laundresses, busy in their daily ritual. The covered area is surmounted by a large arch with a strong Arab influence. On the right side of the entrance a singular inscription brings us back to an ancient legend: “Here flows Cefalino, healthier than any other river, purer than silver, colder than snow”. The legend tells that Cefalino was generated from the unceasing tears of a nymph regretting to have punished with death, her beloved betrayal.


    The Cefalu cost is a gem of the Sicilian coastline. It offers fine beaches where tourists and locals get to meet and enjoy their day. If you need anything, just walk down to the town and join one of the seaside resorts. Il Lungomare with gold sand and Mazzaforno Beach, which is a group of beaches, are two of the best places to be.

    The Coast

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