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Cefalù, Italy
Comune di Cefalù
Coat of arms of Cefalù, Italy

Coat of arms
Location of Cefalù, Italy
Cefalù, Italy is located in Italy
Cefalù, Italy
Cefalù, Italy
Location of Cefalù, Italy in Italy
Cefalù, Italy is located in Sicily
Cefalù, Italy
Cefalù, Italy
Cefalù, Italy (Sicily)
Coordinates: 38°02′N 14°01′E / 38.033°N 14.017°E / 38.033; 14.017
Metropolitan cityPalermo (PA)
FrazioniSant'Ambrogio, Gibilmanna
 • MayorRosario Lapunzina (PD)
 • Total65 km2 (25 sq mi)
16 m (52 ft)
 • Total13,777
 • Density210/km2 (550/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Cefaludesi or Cefalutani
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0921
Patron saintMadonna dell'Immacolata
Saint dayDecember 8
WebsiteOfficial website

Cefalù (Italian pronunciation: [tʃefaˈlu]), the classical Cephaloedium, is a city and comune in the Italian Metropolitan City of Palermo, located on the Tyrrhenian coast of Sicily about 70 km (43 mi) east of the provincial capital and 185 km (115 mi) west of Messina. The town, with its population of just under 14,000, is one of the major tourist attractions in the region. Despite its size, every year it attracts millions of tourists from all parts of Sicily and also, from all over Italy and Europe.

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  • Cefalù - Full Documentary - Romance of Sicily w/Massimo Villas
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  • Cefalù, Sicily: Romantic Port Town
  • Cefalù (PA) - Sfilata di carretti siciliani - 2018


My name's Julian McDonnell and this week I'm going to be eating lots of food drinking lots of wine and doing lots of little trips on mopeds yes, I'm in Italy It's a hard life sometimes Ah, Julian Ah, there you are My friend, Massimo, is always going on about how amazing it is in Sicily So we've finally decided to come out here and check it out for ourselves I'll just finish off this delightful breakfast Now we've based ourselves in the town of Cefalu just outside Palermo because my mate Massimo has quite a few of his rental villas here and wanted me to check out the area What I love about Cefalu is all these wonderful, cobbled streets and windy passages with all the authentic Sicilian laundry hanging from people's balconies, it's brilliant and it makes you feel like you're in a Turkish bazaar or something and it's hardly surprising actually becauseover the years Sicily has been invaded by so many different people that they've all left their mark The Greeks have been here, the Romans, the Turks, the Bourbons (whoever they are) They even let the Italians take over eventually Spectacular views of the craggy overhanging mountain and medieval fortress on top and a cathedral which I think they're very proud of but don't take my word for it Let's ask Angelo who actually lives here This is the main street and the architecture is just a main street and then the two streets close to the cathedral are specifically designed from the bottom of the street you can see the tower of the cathedral It's like a sign, you know, that God is everywhere The cathedral is the pride of Cefalu and was built in the year 1131 after Sicily had been conquered by the Normans and is famous for its total mix of Arab and Normal and other architecture the bottom half looks completely different from the top But what Angelo keeps going on about is the mosaic of Jesus Pantocrator inside… one of the most famous in all of Italy. There is another one which is in Monreale cathedral Close to Palermo boo, exactly, booo but our mosaic is much better than the other one watching his face he is represented as a human being and he's very nice comparing with the one in Monreale The one is Monreale, it doesn't have humanity It's more cold let's say Unfortunately the Norman King Roger died before he could finish building the Cathedral which is why it looks like a bit of a mish-mash So time by time Spanish and Arabian and Byzantine and Greek.... Bloody Norman builders! Conveniently, just down here there's a medieval wash house and as it happens I've got quite a smelly shirt that I wore on the journey here so I'm going to wash that I wasn't going to say anything This is the oldest laundry in the world The water comes from an underground river called the Cefalino straight from the surrounding hills and is a very cold, sweet water which runs down into the sea just behind Paganini over there I wouldn't recommend drinking it though You probably think that the man here playing the Godfather on the violin is making an absolute fortune but I feel a bit sorry for him because everyone is just throwing their money into the fountain I wonder if he goes and picks it out afterwards The old women in the past were washing the clothes on the stone in this particular system This one looks like it's got a nice steady stream I suppose what you'd do is you'd take your shirt like this grab a handful of coins while you're at it I suppose this is what this is for, you probably rub it onto here I thought this was your job, Simon. What am I doing this for......I'm director! I like my whites whiter than white even at 40 degrees! I think it's actually more dirty than before Not bad oh my god You need a medieval tumble drier Funny you should mention that because actually I've got just the place to dry this which is quicker than a tumble drier This beats the launderette down the local high street in London I feel authentic now. Excellent. What could be better than a refreshing cocktail by the beach accompanied by this cheesy music and the great thing about Cefalu is it's got one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily You can take a stroll along the golden sand see the snogging couples, surfers bronzed life guards, beautiful women and men of a certain age proudly parading in famously tiny swimming trunks I must say, you've got to admire their balls Sicily is also famous for its incredible food so we're off to pick up Nancy Jung who is a proper food blogger and wine expert but most importantly she has a slightly more sophisticated palate than mine Time for the race I don't need a helmet or anything? No You can hire a nice vespa for 25 euros for half a day in the old town but it won't be as stylish as Marco's set of wheels Make sure you've got travel insurance The shape of Cefalu from a distance looks like a snail Yes, it's shaped like a snail, I like that It's a very comfortable way to get around town but Marco's scooter is a bit more like a car really it has the turning circle of an ocean liner Ciao Nancy! Look at the size of that suitcase You can really drive like that? I live in Istanbul at the moment i'm a food tour guide so basically I walk around, eat and introduce food and I've heard about Sicilian cuisine for a long time and I've been really looking forward to coming here and trying all the lovely food What we want is something just to stave off the hunger until later and the perfect thing, I've heard tell, is arancini I'm going to the focaccia shop, the oldest one They also have arancini there? Yes, and they looked really good; that's why I'm going back I have food instinct Arancini with meat and this one with ham and mozzarella You can really feel the crunchiness all the other places I've been they microwave this and they go soggy Would you prefer that or a hamburger or a kebab? I really like this because....well I really like rice anyway Look, really really crispy This is the other type you can get which is the meat. I actually like the cheese one better but both of them are delicious it's really good as I expected exactly what I expected, crunchy outside it's really nice We've been here a couple of days and there's plenty to do in Cefalu all year round but September is the time for the grape harvest and our guide, friend and general all round good egg Angelo is going to take us to the Sant'anastasia vineyard So we get to try even more wine. Are you up for some more wine? Are you ready for your trip to the vineyard? So we're going to see the procedure for wine making So, Julian, if you have an empty glass Of course, we're going to try some There are absolutely acres of vines. There's aren't any grapes on the vines at the moment because they've just done the harvestbut we're goingt o head up to the winery Immediately the smell of wine hits you as you walk in and hardly surprising really I know nothing about wine so any questions I'll have to leave to Nancy I just clearly want to try some out I wasn't listening what was he talking about? The most important thing is that thing on top of the barrel the glass part allows wine to escape when the temperature changes to avoid it turning into vinegar and how many litres are there in here? 10 000 litres of wine! That's enough We'll take this one please I've left my wallet at home Look, I knew I was going to like it but if it passes the Nancy test then I can start to relax What will your wife say? I'm getting drunk on the smell alone It's not wine it's grape juice before the alcoholic fermentation before going into the barrel It's pure grape it's fantastic It's really nice grapejuice I feel like Charlie when he's being taken around the chocolate factory there's all this stuff I shouldn't be touching in case I contaminate it cheers this is like your baby He has many children! This is a very citrusy Oh, I got it right? Total guess This definitely gets a smiley face Today we're going to go on a boat trip with Marco I don't know if it's his boat He's so stylish is Marco He's going to come straight around this bend "Julian I am going today to borrow a boat" Come on do you reckon that's him? Surely not It's really lovely this little spot I can imagine it being where lovers meet and so many of these locks must have a romantic story behind them I think this is where they put all the chairs out at the end of Cinema Paradiso and they project the film onto those buildings there It really does look very atmospheric with lovely rock overhanging it probably hasn't changed ever, this town, has it.. So where are we going? We're going to explore the cave over there Inside the cave there is a secret coast and there is an awkward hole where you can get in but you can't get out I'm pretty good at negotiating awkward holes This is my football team Which team? Inter Milano Off she goes into a secret beach hidden what wonders await them It's very beautiful This cave is called St Lucy and during the war this woman called Lucy came running in herewith enemy soldiers chasing her Probably English I expect and she climbed up through that hole and made good her escape Why is she a saint? God knows... But it's a lovely cave Rosario's lived here for 30 years and he's never been inside there We're in a very beautiful spot here Apparently in 1989 the New York Times declared this the 7th most beautiful corner of the world and just as we're heading back to get changed into our evening attire as if by magic, the barman appears oh, go one then! Now you might be wondering what all the people are doing just wandering around They're not all tourists, quite a lot of them live here A "passagiata" we call it. Just walking and shopping meeting friends and chat a little bit before going for dinner we make a passagiata before and after ah, can I have have two flavours? We've been trying to find him, he disappeared down an alley way This ridiculous. Look at the size of this Here you can knock someone and they'll offer you a coffee maybe a room with a view this is somebody's front door, it's hilarious what do you do if you have a sofa delivery? ah, it brings us out at our house. That's handy. So it's a nice quiet evening, what do you suggest we do ? a typical Sicilian aperative so we can have a drink, some cheese local cheese and salami and a pizza sounds good to me, how about you, Simon? I'm very up for that We've been here for about four or five days now as you can tell from the length of my stubble So we've decided to come out of Cefalu and come for a day trip to Palermo and it's immediately tangible the difference. It's complete chaos here I didn't quite catch that What's the name of this Market? Ballaro one of the most important markets in Palermo It's like a competition one guy sings out and the other is trying to compete with him This is the real traditional Palermo street food There are two different kinds of street food the worst part of the pork, the tongue, the nose which are boiled or you can have the stigiola which are the interiors of the sheep or the cow with onion and parsley, it's very good very strong taste but good Sounds horrific you don't have to see what you eat!Just eat and enjoy So we're going to send in our celebrity taster, Nancy, because there's no way I'm trying it Best street food in Palermo, number 1 3rd generation He means his father, his father's father his father's father's father I could go farther! Hot but smells good Make a picture he said. Yes, you can make a picture but you have to eat also, otherwise what are you going to eat, the picture? There's a big piece of fat on there, I'm not sure about this tastes good though Spring onion, salt it's simple but it's nice, it's juicy In Istanbul we have a similar thing this is much better After a fine repast of pigs' internal organs we pass through the old historical centre of Palermo and as a testament to the the well-oiled machine that is Italian efficiency There's a house that has remained exactly the same as when it was bombed in the second world war They haven't changed at all. Just left as they were during the second world war Due purely to an oversight on my part I've only had one ice cream since I've been in Sicily so I'm going to put that right right now Strawberry and Chocolate once you've eaten all the bits around the outside if by some miracle you aren't completely stuffed you're then supposed to squash this bit inside there and then eat it like a sandwich It's a weird combination especially with the brioche, for us that just seems weird This is how you eat this like a hamburger Not like that! Don't try and pretend you did that one yourself, Marco made that one for her! Mine looks like a hedgehog that's been run over with its guts hanging out, because I've made such a mess of it Right up the other end of that street that leads from the crossroads is the Teatro Massimo This is the biggest theatre in Italy and renowned for its amazing acoustics it's actually one of the five biggest theatres in the world I think it was built in the 19th century In the final scene of the Godfather Part 3 This is where they film it; he's at the theatre. Do you know that scene? "Just when I thought I was out...." No no no no! That's another part of the film. This is the part where Al Pacino falls to his knees and he's completely emotional because his daughter has been shot on the steps of this very opera house Do you remember? This is the fountain of shame over here Piazza di Vergogna If you look at the statues they're all a bit modest, covering themselves up Look she's covering up her breasts.What next, eh? Outrageous! In 1573 the senate bough this beautiful fountain and wanted to show it off by placing it in this square but in order to make way for it they had to knock down a few houses which wasn't very popular with the residents so they ended up calling it the square of shame I notice the men aren't exactly that modest The shame is that I don't know much about it. Of course there's plenty more to see in Palermo but we're only on a day trip so we have to leave About 20km outside Cefalu is Castelbuono named after the castle which was owned by the aristocratic Famiglia di Ventimilia Set high up in the hillsand quite isolated you'd be forgiven for thinking you've strayed onto the set of a movie in fact, you might recognise this square This is the famous square where a part of Cinema Paradiso was filmed with the fountain in the middle which is very nice where the guy says "this is my square this is my square"(The crazy guy) You see the old people sitting here You can really see how the traditional life in these old towns is old people sitting just outside doing nothing Just chatting, sometimes fighting sometimes playing cards Sometimes making gossip about what's going on They are making gossip about us perhaps. Who are they, what are they doing here? They are the best and real newspaper for the town We never buy newspapers here, we just listen to them Panettone... In September....In general it's strange but here it's very common There is a percentage of minced meat to make this Minced meat? In chocolate? This is Manna and it's a sort of resin Yeah and bit like a meringue , a chewy meringue Basically the main property of manna is it's a strong laxative Laxative! Now he tells me! Hmm, minced meat in the chocolate and laxatives cheers Angelo should be an interesting drive back to Cefalu! I really love this time of day when the sun's just falling on the buildings and you can see all the fishermen who have returned from the fishing trip last night they'll be selling their fish in the street that's a Sicilian road sweeper Slightly different from Harringay Council's way of doing things That guy you can hear him all throughout the streets and over here there's this brilliant bloke who's been making fishing nets for years His little grotto. It's so cute in here Like an Aladdin's cave There he is, Salvatore, as a young man It's quite a climb up this hill but if you're feeling brave around the other side of the big mountain and just next to the stadium is the house of the man who the English press called "The Wickedest Man in the World" It's really creepy actually's still here. No one's lived here for years It's just all abandoned and still here Aleister Crowley was born in 1875 and was an occultist, poet and general weirdo who founded a religion called Thelema and considered himself to be the prophet who would lead the human race into the aeon of Horus Whatever that is in the 20th Century a bit like like Scientology, in fact I think L. Ron. Hubbard was inspired by him He was certainly his friend anyway and he is said to have inspired Aldous Huxley, David Bowie, The Beatles, and honestly thought himself to be the "Beast 666" as prophecised by John the Divine in the book of Revelation an occultist, he was a painter, a mountaineer and I think he was a double agent as well in the war Let's go through the keyhole with Joolzy How do you get in? Do you want to clamber down there, I reckon that's the way in. Looks safe enough He was just a weird kind of deviant In his lifetime he became a notorious bi-sexual, drug experimenter and satanist and people would come to his house and do all sorts of weird sex experiments and stuff like that until Moussolini eventually had him expelled from Italy The Temple of Thelema Doesn't look like much of a temple to me Who knows, maybe there's someone in there now performing some ritualistic sex (bestiality) It is actually really dangerous to go in, I'm kind of reluctant There we go...he's in....Ok Be careful Julian Julian Oh, he's a fool! It's really freaky in here It's hard to believe he used to live here with his weird followers until 1923 when the Italians had enough of him Kind of feels like his weird followers still come in here now I must point out seriously at this opint that we shouldn't be in here it's actually forbidden to enter this site I'm already far too weirded out in here and it's horrible. It smells It feels a bit dangerous Yeah they've clearly closed it off for a reason in there Simon, don't knock anything with that big rucksack. You might have the whole thing come down on you This is a freaky place I mean they wore robes, performed rituals. He offered what they call a "libertine" education for the children of his followers and allowed them to play all day and witness acts of sex magic He also said "I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening." What a nutter! Yes, sounds like a nice guy After that surreal experience it's finally time to climb La Rocca The imposing mountain that's been taunting me ever since I arrived Make sure you take good footwear though, this is quite a long hike and you'll definitely need some water unless you are a camel which I'm not, although Simon does give me the hump sometimes Looks easy enough No problem Looks like you're off to get married with that music in the background Where's the bride? Look at these amateurs! They've brought flip flops to climb La Rocca! Who's idea was this? After the fall of the Roman empire the people from Cefalu moved up the mountain For better protection against pirates like the Vandals and the Saracens and around the 8th century they started to build fortifications I don't even know why they put the fortifications in, there's no need, you'd be knackered after climbing all that! You have to be pretty careful though That is a death fall No Fear She has no fear After a steep climb we finally reach the Temple of Diana a megalithic structure which we don't know much about but it's really old, honest! Before the Greeks arrived it was apparently used for the ancient pagan worship of water Greek lintel and columns here, aren't they This wasn't put in by O'Reilly's builders this is old this is from the 5th century BC These bits look like they've been added a bit later Sicily's been invaded by so many people it's hard to keep track of who built what speaking of worshipping water I want to be down there in the sea You look quite different from the Julian I met this morning having a coffee and croissant! Well at least I made it to the summit before the end of the trip and despite being ready to flop into bed Angelo has arranged one last farewell feast for us at one of their villas with one of their private chefs so we're going to to have the experience of trying the home cooking it's a nice experience that we organise often Today I will cook a traditional Sicilian recipe and I put a little bit of white wine , olive oil Very fresh fish, super fresh I can never get mine to look like that How do you do it? You need to find the right tomatoes and then you need to cook very slow and it takes time, some say about 2 hours The service we're offering is great food experience to people coming on holiday I think this kind of sharing the passion for food is fantastic Pasta alla Norma! With aubergine. I want to stop filming now and just east this Everyone seems to be having a pretty good time I'm sad to be leaving Cefalu and I can see why so many people wanted to invade but I'm sure I'll be back again soon Arrivederci folks! Thanks for watching!



The city's Sicilian name is Cifalù. It was known to the Greeks as Kephaloídion (Κεφαλοίδιον)[1] or Kephaloidís (Κεφαλοιδίς).[2] These were latinized as Cephaloedium and Cephaloedis.[3] Under Arab rule, it was known as Gafludi.[citation needed]

Under Carthaginian rule, it was known as "Cape Melqart" (Punic: 𐤓‬𐤔 𐤌𐤋‬𐤒𐤓‬𐤕, RŠ MLQRT), after the Tyrian god.[4]


Of Greek foundation, the city evidently derived its name from its situation on a lofty and precipitous rock, forming a bold headland (Greek: κεφαλή, kephalḗ) projecting into the sea. Despite the Greek origin of its name, no mention of it is found in the works of Thucydides, who expressly says that Himera was the only Greek colony on this coast of the island;[5] it is probable that Cephaloedium was at this time merely a fortress (φρούριον, phroúrion) belonging to the Himeraeans and may very likely have been first peopled by refugees after the destruction of Himera. Its name first appears in history at the time of the Carthaginian expedition under Himilco, 396 BC, when that general concluded a treaty with the Himeraeans and the inhabitants of Cephaloedium.[6] But after the defeat of the Carthaginian armament, Dionysius the Elder made himself master of Cephaloedium, which was betrayed into his hands.[7] At a later period we find it again independent, but apparently on friendly terms with the Carthaginians, on which account it was attacked and taken by Agathocles, 307 BC.[8] In the First Punic War it was reduced by the Roman fleet under Atilius Calatinus and Scipio Nasica, 254 BC, but by treachery and not by force of arms.[9] Cicero speaks of it as apparently a flourishing town, enjoying full municipal privileges; it was, in his time, one of the civitates decumanae which paid the tithes of their corn in kind to the Roman state and suffered severely from the oppressions and exactions of Verres.[10] It also minted coins. No subsequent mention of it is found in history, but it is noticed among the towns of Sicily by the geographers Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy, and at a later period its name is still found in the itineraries.[11]

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the town passed to the Byzantines and the settlement was moved from the plain to the current spur, although the old town was never entirely abandoned. In AD 858, after a long siege, it was conquered by the Arabs. For the following two centuries it was part of the Emirate of Sicily.

In 1063, the Normans captured it. In 1131, Roger II, king of Sicily, transferred it from its almost inaccessible position to one at the foot of the rock, where there was a small but excellent harbor and began construction of the present Byzantine-style cathedral. The area was still inhabited by Byzantine Greek speakers in addition to Arabs, and these Christians were then still members of the Greek Orthodox Church.[12] Between the 13th century and 1451, it was under different feudal families, and then it became a possession of the bishops of Cefalù.

During the Risorgimento, the patriot Salvatore Spinuzza was shot here in 1857. Cefalù became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Main sights


The Cathedral, begun in 1131, in a style of Norman architecture which would be more accurately called Sicilian Romanesque. The exterior is well preserved, and is largely decorated with interlacing pointed arches; the windows also are pointed. On each side of the façade is a massive tower of four stories. The round-headed Norman portal is worthy of note. A semi-circular apse is set into the east end wall. Its strengthening counterforts that work like buttresses, are shaped as paired columns to lighten their aspect. The groined vaulting of the roof is visible in the choir and the right transept, while the rest of the church has a wooden roof. Fine cloisters, coeval with the cathedral, adjoin it.

Two strong matching towers flank the cathedral porch, which has three arches (rebuilt around 1400) corresponding to the nave and the two aisles.
Two strong matching towers flank the cathedral porch, which has three arches (rebuilt around 1400) corresponding to the nave and the two aisles.
Christus Pantokrator in the apsis of the cathedral
Christus Pantokrator in the apsis of the cathedral
Church of St. Stefano.
Church of St. Stefano.
Cefalù in 1830, by Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann.

The interior of the cathedral was restored in 1559, though the pointed arches of the nave, borne by ancient granite columns, are still visible; and the only mosaics preserved are those of the apse and the last bay of the choir; they are remarkably fine specimens of the Byzantine art of the period (1148) and, though restored in 1859–62, have suffered much less than those at Palermo and Monreale from the process. The figure of the Pantocrator gracing the apse is especially noteworthy.

The cathedral is one of nine structures comprising the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale.[13]

Other churches

  • Santa Maria dell'Odigitria, popularly referred to simply as Itria, its name the rendition in Italian of the Greek Hodegetria, one of the standard iconographic depictions of the Virgin Mary. Probably built over a preexisting Byzantine church of the same name, the current building is from the 16th century. Until 1961 it consisted of two different religious edifices, the second being a chapel devoted to St. Michael Archangel; both were a property of the Confraternity of St. Mary of the Odigitria.
  • Santa Oliva (1787). It has a tuff portal.
  • San Sebastiano (probably 1523). It has a single nave with two frescoed niches on every side.
  • Sant'Andrea.
  • San Leonardo, mentioned from 1159 and, until the restoration of 1558, entitled to St. George. The original portal, now closed behind a wall, has vegetable decorations similar to the Cathedral's ones.
  • The Immacolatella (1661).
  • The Oratory of the Santissimo Sacramento (1688).
  • Chapel of San Biagio (St. Blaise).
  • Santo Stefano or Church of Purgatory.
  • Santissima Trinità.
  • Santissima Annunziata (c. 1511). The façade has a large rose window and a relief with the Annunciation.
  • The Monastery of St. Catherine.


Some remains of the ancient city are still visible, on the summit of the rock; but the nature of the site proves that it could never have been more than a small town, and probably owed its importance only to its almost impregnable position. Fazello speaks of the remains of the walls as still existing in his time, as well as those of a temple of Doric architecture, of which the foundations only are now visible. But the most curious monument still remaining of the ancient city is an edifice, consisting of various apartments, and having the appearance of a palace or domestic residence, but constructed wholly of large irregular blocks of limestone, in the style commonly called polygonal or Cyclopean. Rude mouldings approximating to those of the Doric order, are hewn on the face of the massive blocks. The doorways are of finely-cut stone, and of Greek type, and the date, though uncertain, cannot, from the careful jointing of the blocks, be very early. This building, which is almost unique of its kind, is the more remarkable, from its being the only example of this style of masonry, so common in Central Italy, which occurs in the island of Sicily. It is fully described and figured by Dr. Nott in the Annali dell'Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica, for the year 1831 (vol. iii. p. 270-87).

On the summit of the promontory are extensive remains of a Saracenic castle. The town's fortifications formerly extended to the shore, on the side where the modern town now is, in the form of two long walls protecting the port. There are remains of a wall of massive rectangular blocks of stone at the modern Porta Garibaldi on the south.

Other sights include:

  • The Seminary and the Bishops Palace.
  • Palazzo Atenasio Martino (15th century). The court has 16th-century frescoes.
  • Palazzo Maria (13th century). The medieval portal and a mullioned window, with Catalan-style vegetable decorations, are still visible.
  • Palazzo Piraino (16th century).
  • Osterio Magno. According to the tradition, it was built by Roger II as his mansion, but it probably dates from the 14th century. Traces of the medieval tower and decoration can be seen. Excavations held in the interior have showed the presence of ancient edifices and ceramics.
  • Ancient Roman baths.
  • The remains of the Abbey of Thelema,[14] established by the occultist Aleister Crowley in 1920 as a magical commune before he was ordered to leave by the Benito Mussolini government in 1923. The abbey is now in a state of severe disrepair.
Remains of megalithic wall, c. 500–400 BC
Remains of megalithic wall, c. 500–400 BC

Not far from the town are the sanctuary of Gibilmanna and the Gibilmanna Observatory.

In popular culture

The Breakfast at Tiffany's character Salvatore 'Sally' Tomato ("notorious mafia-notorious Mafia-führer") was "believed to have been born in Cefalu".[15]

See also

Sister cities



  1. ^ Diod.; Strabo.
  2. ^ Ptol.
  3. ^ Pliny.
  4. ^ Head & al. (1911), p. 877.
  5. ^ vi. 62
  6. ^ Diod. xiv. 56
  7. ^ Ibid. 78.
  8. ^ Id. xx. 56.
  9. ^ Id. xxiii., Exc. Hoesch. p. 505.
  10. ^ Cic. Verr. ii. 5. 2, iii. 43.
  11. ^ Strab. vi. p. 266; Plin. iii. 8. s. 14; Ptol. iii. 4. § 3; Itin. Ant. p. 92; Tab. Peut.
  12. ^ Loud, G. A. (2007). The Latin Church in Norman Italy. Cambridge University Press. p. 494. ISBN 978-0-521-25551-6. ISBN 0-521-25551-1" "At the end of the twelfth century ... While in Apulia Greeks were in a majority – and indeed present in any numbers at all – only in the Salento peninsula in the extreme south, at the time of the conquest they had an overwhelming preponderance in Lucaina and central and southern Calabria, as well as comprising anything up to a third of the population of Sicily, concentrated especially in the north-east of the island, the Val Demone.
  13. ^ "Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Abbey of Thelema Cefalù".
  15. ^ Breakfast at Tiffany's, pp. 90-91.


External links

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