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

If you saw the Oscar-winning film Cinema Paradiso, you’ve already been charmed by the former fishing village of Cefalù, now a popular resort. The filmmakers wisely left out the hordes of white-fleshed northern Europeans who roast themselves on the crescent-shaped beach, one of the best along the northern coast, which stretches beneath the tall white houses of the old town. Towering 278m (912 ft.) above the beach and 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. It’s a long, hot, sweaty climb up to the top, but once there, the view is panoramic, extending all the way to the skyline of Palermo in the west or to Capo d’Orlando in the east.