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Cefalu | A Seaside Spot

Updated: Apr 24

Sicily is a huge island. We only had 18 days to explore it so we could not stay long at any one place and had to move on. We started our exploration of Sicily in the Palermo province and decided to end it there too, but in a different town. After another wonderful breakfast we checked out of our B&B in Taormina and headed to Cefalu by way of Naxos (not the Greek island but the Sicilian town), Tindari, and Messina. Not sure but it looks like this bridge is looking at us.

Almost every bridge and underpass in Naxos had a mural on it. Here are some examples.

One of the dizzying things about travel in high elevations is the number of switchbacks that you will encounter. To make driving more enjoyable (at least for the passenger) going through a mountain via a tunnel is also an option. 

If you happen to be in Sicily and you are traveling with others in a motorcade and driving a FIAT. they might lose you, because the FIAT is an Italian car and is very popular.

We heard that there were beautiful buildings, churches and parks in Messina, the capital of the Messina Province in Sicily, and so we had to take a look.

If you were whisked back to a time to Messina, Sicily, before American independence, you would find the beautiful marble statue of the Immaculate Conception in the aptly named Piazza Immacolata di Marmo. Sculpted by Ignazio Buceti in 1758, this Baroque statue sits below the cathedral’s “new” 90 year old bell tower.

After an hour or so in Messina, we headed to Tindari

We parked our car in a lot at the bottom of a hill and walked towards the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna.  Of course food is important and so food trucks, with their grills were present.

Unfortunately I was unable to capture the inside of this magnificent cathedral with my camera and had to settle for a cell phone capture.

Walking a little more after visiting the church, we came upon the Sito Archeological Area complete with both Greek and Roman buildings

Entrance to the Roman Agora
Entrance to the Roman Agora

And of course there are ancient ruins!

After a cursory look at the ruins, it was back down the hill to our car and off to BllueBay Cefalu. A lovely spot where we had some beautiful sea views and some beach time.

Of course there were traces of antiquity even here. If you look carefully at the large rock in the photo, you will notice that it isn’t really a single rock formation, but several large lumachella rocks. This was part of an ancient Greek fortress that dates back from the 5th-4th century BC.

If you are so inclined, you can walk to the rock and climb it. Since there are stairs, it is not too difficult to do. Not only will you get a beautiful view of the sea but you will see some antiquity too.

It is amazing how much can be transported via motorcycle or Tuk Tuk.

If you go to the public beach and forget your beach towel, no problem. There are plenty available for purchase.

There is something about a church on the top or close to the top of a hill. I know people who specifically chose a church for their wedding because it was on a hill. Picturesque. The Roman Catholic basilica, the Cathedral of Cefalu is no exception. This building dating back to the 12th century, with its Arab-Norman architectural style is a UNESCO World Heritage site

I guess it is a Sicilian thing and I kinda like it

Of course there are murals. and sometimes ones we have seen in other towns. This mural of two men memorializes judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino who were blown up by the Mafia in 1992. You really cannot ignore that particular history in any discussion of Sicily. Fortunately, that type of activity is all in the past.

In the evening we walked to town, saw the sunset...

and had a wonderful meal at a restaurant set in a 16th Century building called the Le Chat Noir and I was excited because dinner included GREENS!

After dinner we found an Irish Pub to add to our collection of Irish Pubs around the world

Our last day in Sicily began with a beautiful sunrise

When originally planning a trip to Sicily I asked my friends which place was their favorite and found that most could not answer. After spending a little over two weeks on this incredible island I understood why. Everyplace we visited was beautiful. The food was incredible in every town. The aroma of fresh herbs and spices permeated the air. In October, the weather was fabulous, warm, without being brutally hot. My only regret was that the trip was too short.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Sicily and that you join me in my journey to Southeast Asia.

To see more photos of Cefalu, Sicily

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Pease look for our next blog segment - Thailand | The land of the golden Buddha

If you missed Taormina | The Pearl of the Ionian

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