Cefalù, seaside town with a rich historical heritage, Sicily • Italy

Join us for a quick escape to Cefalù, a Sicilian seaside marvel, all in under 6 minutes. From its stunning beaches to the ancient whispers of the Norman Cathedral and the quaint 12th-century public washhouse, this video brings the past to life. Each clip is paired with narrative insights, making your virtual visit both engaging and enlightening. Dive into the rich tapestry of history and beauty that Cefalù offers, a perfect blend of culture and relaxation.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Italy: Seductive Sicily 2022

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Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.

00:35 • the beach

01:19 • in the alleys of the city

02:19 • the cathedral of Cefalù

04:21 • the washouse from 12th century



Cefalù is a town located on the northern coast of Sicily, Italy. The city is located in a picturesque bay and surrounded by mountains. Cefalù's history dates back to antiquity, and the town has been inhabited by several peoples over the centuries. 

If the city of Cefalù was founded by the Greeks towards the end of the 5th century BC under the name of Kefaloidion, remains of a megalithic sanctuary found on the top of the rock overlooking the city prove that the region was already inhabited in the prehistoric times. 

Like everywhere in Sicily, the Romans succeeded the Greeks and renamed the city Cephaloedium. 

Cefalù was the seat of a Byzantine diocese (eastern Rome) from the 7th century AD before falling into Muslim hands in the mid-9th century. 

Indeed, in the 9th century, the city was conquered by the Arabs, who renamed it "Gebel Al-Teys". The Arabs built a castle on a hill overlooking the town, which today is known as "La Rocca". The city continued to be inhabited by Arabs until the 11th century, when the Normans conquered Sicily. 

The Normans of Roger de Hauteville, allies of the Papacy, seized the city in 1063. Under the Normans, Cefalù experienced a period of prosperity and economic growth. The city's most famous landmark is Cefalù Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century during the reign of the Norman King Roger II. The cathedral is an exceptional example of Norman architecture and is considered one of the finest examples of medieval art in Sicily. 

Roger II built the cathedral and many other monuments. The beginnings of the construction of the Cathedral of Cefalù date from 1131. 

From this period also date the washhouses of Arab architecture, built near a waterfall. Some residents of Cefalu still make use of these public washhouses. 

Cefalu Cathedral 

The Cathedral of Cefalù, also called the Cathedral Basilica of the Transfiguration, is certainly the emblematic monument of the small town. This religious building was built in the Arab-Norman style like many places of worship in Sicily, at least those which escaped the earthquake of 1693. The interior of the cathedral is decorated with Byzantine mosaics, including a remarkable representation of Christ Pantocrator. Christ pantocrator alludes to a representation of the bust of Jesus Christ in his glorious body, as opposed to those of a Jesus on the cross or the child Jesus. In this kind of mosaics, Christ carries the book of the Holy Scriptures in his left hand and his right hand is raised. 

Over the following centuries, the town of Cefalù was ruled by a series of local lords and barons, and it experienced periods of prosperity and economic decline. In the 19th century, the city was hit by a cholera epidemic, which had devastating consequences for the local population. 

Nowadays, Cefalù is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful cathedral, beaches and medieval atmosphere. The city attracts visitors from all over the world who come to discover its rich heritage


about the place, Cefalù:

Cefalù is a small town of about 14,000 inhabitants in the Province of Palermo in Sicily. City founded by the Greeks in the fifth century BC, Cefalu is an important seaside resort, which does not prevent it from having an exceptional heritage.


Spoken comments in the film: 

Cefalù is a small town in the province of Palermo in Sicily. It is one of the most popular seaside towns on the island, with a rich historical past. Founded in the 5th century BC by the Greeks, it offers, in addition to its sun and its splendid alleys, a remarkable Norman cathedral dating from the 12th century.

The cathedral of Cefalù, or the cathedral basilica of the Transfiguration was built by Roger II, Norman king of Sicily, following a vow made to the Holy Savior to have saved him from a storm. Its construction dates from 1131 and the building is a fine example of Arab-Norman architecture.

Its Byzantine mosaics, and particularly a Pentocrator Christ, are remarkable.

Deze openbare wasplaatsen van Arabische architectuur, die nog steeds in bedrijf zijn, dateren uit dezelfde periode als de kathedraal, het begin van de 12e eeuw. Ze zijn in de tussentijd duidelijk het onderwerp geweest van restauratiewerkzaamheden.

What's the weather like in Cefalù?



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Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of italian traditional music in "Cefalù, seaside town with a rich historical heritage, Sicily • Italy", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

Cefalu cathedral, Cefalù, Sicily • Italy
Piazza del Duomo, Cefalù • Italy • Sicily

Piazza del Duomo

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