On the way back home, the last episode in Sicily is Cefalù, with Palermo and Monreale is the core of the regal architectures wanted by the Norman kings and recently declared World Heritage Sites. The Romanesque Cathedral overlooks the city. Its shape is that of a castle, highlighted by two sturdy bell towers. Inside, the impressive apse is decorated with a large mosaic of the 1148 representing the Christ Pantocrator.
It is totally worth the 3 euros per person the visit to the cloister next to the Cathedral, but located to a lower altitude of about 3 meters and a half compared to the floor: it’s one of the most sublime artistic and sculptural testimonials of Norman age and the oldest cloister existing in Sicily, with composite capitals on paired columns. The rich sculptural apparatus of the capitals, with historical and biblical contents, is a sublime example of Romanesque sculpture attributed to workers from Puglia and presents depictions derived from the medieval herbaria and bestiary.
Cefalù stretches below the Rocca a fortress overlooking the sea and the long beach increasingly popular thanks to the warm and shallow waters. For those who have time we suggest a walk on top of the Rocca where is possible to see the impressive ruins of the Castle of Cefalù, dating back to the XIII-XIV sec .: to get up there may seem difficult, but once you arrive, you can enjoy a splendid view.
Going down to the cove is well worth a short stop the medieval wash , where you can enter through a snail shaped staircase called “a lumachella”, and where, until a few decades ago, women of the small town were still doing the laundry. In the evocative tanks, the water flows from 22 mouths and after covering the wash, reaches the sea through two openings in the tunnel with arched vault.
(Traduzione di Monia Saponaro)