advertisement

81km (50 miles) E of Palermo, 38km (24 miles) NE of Termini Imerese, 170km (106 miles) W of Messina.

The major destination along the Tyrrhenian coast, the former fishing village of Cefalù has grown into one of northern Sicily's premier stopovers. It hardly rivals Taormina in appeal, but it's trying. The town is most noted as being captured in the Oscar-winning film Cinema Paradiso. You can tour Cefalù in half a day and spend the rest of your time enjoying its beach. The town is not only in possession of a great patch of sand; it's also blessed with a Romanesque cathedral and a museum that houses Antonello da Messina's masterpiece Portrait of an Unknown Man.

Anchored between the sea and a craggy limestone promontory, Cefalù is a town of narrow medieval streets, small squares, and historic sites. Towering 278m (912 ft.) above the town is La Rocca, a massive and much-photographed crag. The Greeks thought it evoked a head, so they named the village Kephalos, which in time became Cefalù.