Sicily: La Rocca of Cefalù

Looming over Cefalù is La Rocca, a rock that towers about 276 metres above the town.
It's one tiring climb, especially in the heat of the day to get to the top of La Rocca, but it's worth it for the magnificent view of Cefalù.
We could teasingly see our hotel's swimming pool when we reached the top - after a 45 minute climb in the heat, which was very steep and uneven at times, a pool would have been most welcome!
Instead of a swimming pool at the top of La Rocca, we found the ruins of Cefalù Castle. Dating back from the 1300s, it's amazing to think they managed to build up there and that a community thrived.
Making your way back down La Rocca, stop off at the archaeological ruins and the Temple of Diana (Artemis), which dates from the 5th Century BC, and see the megalithic walls.
There's an entry fee of €4 to access the park where La Rocca is situated - tackle it early in the morning and take plenty of water with you!

Sicily: Cefalù Cathedral

Built by the Normans, Cefalù Cathedral helps a little to explain the different influences in Sicily. See, the Normans conquered Sicily in 1091 though before that both the Byzantine and Arab Empires had occupied the island, as well as the Vandals and Ostrogoths. (Not to mention the Ancient Romans and other early tribes.)
Sicily became part of Italy in 1861 - in between this they subordinated to the Crown of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire - but since 1946 Sicily has been an autonomous region in the Italian Republic.

A lot of cultures have influenced the island of Sicily, so it's unsurprising that there's a mixture of styles around the island. This Norman Cathedral dominates the town of Cefalù, and it's worth popping in. Same rules apply here like at St Peter's: Cover your shoulders and knees, but they do have shawls you can borrow if you're not suitably attired.


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