1. Rich, Mixed History
Cefalu is one of the best places to get a true sense of Sicilian history. In this small shore town, you’ll find a meeting places of Roman, Arab, Spanish, Norman, and Greek cultures.
High on the small mountain, known locally as La Rocca, you’ll find the remains of the fortress that once protected the town, along with ancient Greek temples. Like the rest of Sicily, Cefalu was first settled by the Greeks.
But, unlike many other cities on the island, architecture and cultural aspects of the next waves of conquerors remain.
The enormous, breath-taking Norman Cathedral.
The baroque churches and buildings in the historic city center.
All of these come together in Cefalu.
2. The Shore, Pescatourism, and the Sailing
Cefalu is home to a gorgeous stretch of beach that is visited every summer by people from around the globe. The beach is long, but thin, and is met by crystal clear water from the Mediterranian.
The beach meets with a small fisherman’s port that has been in use for over one-thousand years. The Porta Pescara (Fisherman’s Port), is used to launch small boats in search of sardines, anchovies, and other small fish, that are later sold in the streets, on the shore, or at fish markets.
Cefalu is developing a thriving pescaturism market (like ecotourism, but done on boats, teaching visitors the local fishing customs).
The town also has a tremendous sailing excursion industry. From Cefalu, it is possible to take a short boat ride out to the Aeolian islands. Tours of the coast and the Palermo area are also available. In the summer, it is even possible to sail around the entire coast of Sicily; an unforgettable experience.
Cefalu’s main street, Corso Ruggero, hosts some of the best shopping in all of Italy. There is a beautiful mixture of high-end boutiques, local shops, artisan stores, cafes, ceramic shops, and more.
You can also shop the famous Saturday Market, which has local artisans and plenty to eat.
If you prefer a larger city experience, Palermo is just a 40-minute train ride away.
4. The Food
Food in all of Sicily is fantastic. But, being a port city, the fish in Cefalu is world famous. For a small town, there is a near-dizzying number of bakeries, cafes, restaurants, and sandwich shops… not to mention the pizzerias.
Once you eat a few meals in Cefalu, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without their cooking.