Thursday, April 04, 2013


Although I've loved Sicily for over twenty years now and have lived here for eight, I had, until last Sunday, never managed to get to Cefalù. You can see Cefalù as you come down from Gibilmanna and I hadn't realised how close its main buildings are to the sea or what a compact and prettily coloured town it is.

The name Cefalù comes from a Greek word meaning "head" and refers to the massive rock beneath which the town stands. The town dates back to at least Greek times but it was the Normans who rebuilt it nearer the sea and legend has it that King Ruggero 11, having run into a dangerous storm whilst sailing to Palermo in 1131, swore that if he and his ship were spared, he would have a cathedral built where he landed. San Giorgio appeared and guided the ship to safety at Cefalù. Well, I'm going to believe it, anyway!

The narrow, winding streets reminded me of Ligurian towns like Alassio, as did the pleasant, relaxed atmosphere:

The Duomo, begun in 1131 as Ruggero had promised, was restored in 1559:

The Cristo Pantocratore above the altar reminded me of the mosaics in Monreale Cathedral, with which the building is twinned:

We'd had a very early start so decided that we now deserved lunch in the main square. A plate of antipasti  with panelle [chickpea flour fritters] at the back and fried caciotta cheese with orange on the right was just what we needed!

Polpette of beef with pinenuts and sultanas for me

and an entrecôte with more of that orange-flavoured caciotta for my friend:

Time for a wander down to the harbour:

Another view of the bay in the late afternoon light:

Finally, there had to be a stop for a slice of chocolate and coffee semifreddo and I'm happy to be able to tell you that they don't stint on helpings in Cefalù!


Lucia said...

I love Cefalu. I remember my cousins taking me there, having dinner. Great memories, hope yours will be too!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Lucia. I'm glad you have such happy memories of Cefalù.

Whispering Walls said...

what a feast!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It was, WW.

Lee said...

That looks like a great place to just leisurely stroll around on a long weekend.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, I am sure it would be, Lee.

Linda said...

Beautiful series of photos.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Linda.

Liz Hinds said...

Anything with food involved gets my vote! Especially such delicious-looking meals.

Sorry life's tough at the moment. Hope you get through it stronger and happier. xx

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Liz. Much appreciated. xx


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