Cefalù, both a seaside resort and a well-known international tourist centre, is famous for its long beach (public beach/facilities available) and its artistic and architectural masterpieces: the Norman Cathedral, built on Roger II’s will in 1131, and its precious mosaics decorating the apses, The Pantokrator Christ decorating the church is similar to the one in the Palatine Chapel in Palermo and the one in the Monreale Cathedral. The church also features a XV century “Virgin with Child” fresco, two XVIII century statues representing the “Vergin Annunciate” and the “Angel”, a wooden cross painted by Tommaso de Vigilia and a “Virgin with child” by Antonello Gagini.
An elegant XII century cloister is annexed to the Cathedral.
Along corso Ruggero, facing the XVI century Convent of San Domenico, there is the Osterio Magno (Great Guesthouse), built on the site of an earlier structure which is traditionally identified with King Roger II’s residence.
The suggestive Medieval Wash-house is entirely carved in stone and well-worth a visit; so is the Mandralisca Museum, which also hold an important picture-gallery, containing the famous Portrait of Unknown Man by Antonello da Messina.
There are many other religious buildings and historical residences belonging to the aristocracy.
We suggest taking a stroll along the narrow streets of the old town, where you can enjoy the several pottery and souvenir shops, typical restaurants, discos and pubs, open till late night.
We also recommend visiting the XVI century Gibilmanna Sanctuary, built at the foot of Pizzo Sant’Angelo, in a beautiful, suggestive position. Visiting its museum and library you will get in touch with the life and culture of the Capuchin Friars. On the western side of the Rock you can find the Temple of Diana.
In summer, the town hosts many cultural and musical events and festivals such as the Estate Cefaludese (Cefalù summer).
Websites: http://www.comune.cefalu.pa.ith; http://www.parcodellemadonie.it/home.htm