Cefalù: it.png en.png

Cefalù, the ancient Norman settlement

What to see

The Cathedral – generally known as Duomo – is certainly the most famous and important monument in Cefalù. The Duomo of Cefalù Its founding stone was posed in 1131 by the Norman king Ruggero II who, according to the legend, was fulfilling a vow made during a terrible and sudden storm – to build a magnificent Christian temple in the place where he would be taken to safety.
The external façade dominates the surrounding square with its two imposing towers, the three gothic arches, and the fifteenth-century portico under which is the Porta Regum (Kings’ door). The interior is structured according to a classical Latin cross, dividend into three naves by two rows of ancient columns, clearly coming from a different site. The apse is covered by magnificent mosaics commissioned by Ruggero II to Byzantine masters; the decorative cycles have in fact a very distinctive Oriental flavour. Christ Pantocrator The dominant figure is Christ Pantocrator observing the faithfuls with a sweet and yet severe look.
From Piazza Duomo you can reach the Museo Mandralisca through the homonymous street (at number 13, www.fondazionemandralisca.it). The museum exhibits scientific and artistic collections bequeathed to the city by Earl Enrico Pirajno di Mandralisca, a patron from Cefalù who lived during the first half of the nineteenth century. The museum definitely deserves a visit, especially the precious painting by Antonello da Messina ‘Portrait of a young man’ also known as the ‘Portrait of an ancient sailor’.


Another interesting sight is the public washing site, known as "Medieval laundry site"Medieval laundry in Cefalùthe ‘Lavatoio medioevale’ (Via Vittorio Emanuele); lava stone stairs give you access to a series of basins filled with water coming out of twenty-two iron openings in the walls. Through a small niche the water then reaches the sea. Inside the basins you’ll notice the supports once needed to wash and rinse the clothes.
Recently restored is the small Municipal theatre (discesa Paramuro). It is named after Maestro Salvatore Cicero, and it has three rows of boxes and painted decorations (ceiling, backdrops and curtains) dating back to 1885.
Classic destination for your afternoon stroll (but you can also enjoy a swim there) is the promenade (lungomare Giuseppe Giardina), Cefalù's promenade flanking a very long beach, partly free and partly occupied by lidos. For more serious hikers there’s a 2,7km (return) uphill path starting from Corso Ruggero and ending at the Rocca, the promontory dominating the Cefaludean landscape and giving it its unique scenography. The Rocca still presents its original Mediterranean vegetation and you’ll be able to observe the amazing flight of the Peregrine Falcons. The Temple of Diana, a megalithic construction dating back to the IX century B.C. can also be admired there, and the imposing embattled walls and the picturesque ruins of the old Castle of Cefalù dating back to the XIII-XIV century A.D.

Events and festivals

The most important festival is certainly the one dedicated to the SS. Salvatore, taking place on August 2nd-6th. The festivities include a religious procession, bells’ concertos, firecrackers, street music and great fireworks in the night of August 6th. Also on August 6th you’ll enjoy the so-called ‘Ntinna a Mari’, a traditional game where players walk on a very slippery pole suspended horizontally over the waters of the harbour to reach the ensign of S. Salvatore. Sailors in particular make very competitive players. Also beautiful is the boat procession taking place on the eve of August 15th.Taking place in Cefalù around mid-September is the Sherbeth Festival (or ice cream festival): throughout the city small stands are built where ice cream artisans from all over the world offer their products at token price. Prepare yourself to try some of tastiest and most bizarre ice creams you’ve ever seen.

Tourist information

Ufficio Turismo del Comune di Cefalù - P.zza Duomo - Tel. 0921 4215 Azienda autonoma del Turismo di Cefalù - C.so Ruggiero, 77 - Tel. 0921 421050 - www.cefalu-tour.pa.it Ente Parco delle Madonie–Presidio Turistico – Corso Ruggiero, 116 – Tel./Fax 0921 – 923270

Cefalù offers:
Guided tours to the city: For guided visits to the city of Cefalù (about two hours) in Italian, English, or German, please contact:
Giusi Sauro
Tel: +393476301540
Excursions to the Aeolian Islands: The Aeolian Islands are a group of seven small islands worldwide renowned for their beauty. There are two active volcanoes in the archipelago, the Stromboli (which offers spectacular eruptions) and the Gran Cono on the island of Vulcano. In spring, summer and autumn you can contact:
Porta Terra Viaggi
Piazza Garibaldi, 12 Cefalù
Tel: +39 921420441 +39348933040

Cefalù ‘coast to coast’: Guided boat tour along the coastline of Cefalù. In spring, summer and autumn you can contact:
Tourismez Viaggi
Corso Ruggero, 83 Cefalù
+390921421264; +393392284053; numero verde: 800077822

Excursions on fishing boats (spring, summer and early fall): You can spend a day cruising along the coast with professional fishermen, enjoying the local seafood caught and cooked on board!
Departures – arrivals from / to the port of Cefalù
09.00 - 14.00
15.00 - 20.00
21.30 - 01.30
Cooperativa Nettuno
Lungomare G. Giardina, Cefalù
Tel: +393315339241

Diving: The coastline of Cefalù offers an interesting backdrop and some ruins of an ancient Roman port.
Hotel Kalura
Via Vincenzo Cavallaro, 13 - Cefalù
Tel: +390921421354

Windsurf: For windsurfing courses, please contact:
Alberto Alessandri
Tel: +39 3387256095

Rent a boat: You can rent sailboats or motorboats and dinghies for a day or a week, departing from the port of Cefalù. Contact:
Tel: +39 3382994535

Other useful links on www.comune.cefalu.pa.it

We suggest you try

Ristorante Baglio del Falco, C.da Vallone di Falco - Tel. 0921 921977
Open-air restaurant and pizzeria – enjoy your meal in a green oasis.
Ristorante La Brace, Via XXV Novembre, 10 – Tel. 0921 423570
Very interesting dishes prepared by an Indonesian chef.
Ristorante Caffè Duomo, Piazza Duomo
Enjoy your meal while looking at the Duomo in this restaurant/pizzeria offering tasty food and a good selection of wines.
Ristorante Caffè letterario La Galleria – Via XXV Novembre, 22-23 – Tel. 0921 420211
Open-air café and restaurant serving excellent meals, a quiet reading space and Internet connection.
Ristorante Il Normanno – Via Vanni, 9 – Tel. 0921 925903
Very refined cuisine. No outside sitting area.
Ristorante Al porticciolo – Via C.Ortolani di Bordonaro, 66 – Tel. 0921 991981
Excellent location right above the sea. Excellent pizza too.
Trattoria Cafè 66-Food, Drink and ... - Via Mandralisca, 66 – Tel. 0921 820424
Small trattoria serving good homemade food.
Ristorante Al girotondo – Via Gibilmanna, 46 – Tel. 0921 421312
Excellent pizzeria with a beautiful terrace for hot summer nights. We suggest you try the ‘sfilatino’ and the ‘caramella’… you won’t be disappointed!

Among numerous open-air cafes we suggest you try the bar bar Duomo (sitting area in the middle of the Cathedral’s square) where you can have good ice creams and granite while enjoying the view, and the bar Antica Porta Terra (Piazza Garibaldi, 6 – Tel. 0921 424828), serving truly excellent ice creams. For take-away ice creams and desserts try l’Angolo delle Delizie (Via P. Novelli, 2/4, Palazzo EGV Center – Tel. 0921 923047.
… and many many others you’ll discover!