When everywhere else is filled with snow and very chilly weather, winter in the beautiful seaside town of Cefalu Sicily enjoys a warm to mildly cold climate.
Living near Cefalù, we are lucky to have been here for more than 100 times. We go here for beach trips, night outs, pizza days, and more. Attend a mass, bike, hike, for casual walks or to eat gelato. Maybe, we took thousands of pictures of the town already. They are different activities, the same glorious setting. Its appeal remains, charming and intimate. No filters or photo editors can beat its beauty in person. Cefalù is delightful all year long in all four seasons.
What to do in Cefalu on Winter
We witnessed its crowded beaches during the Summer. Sometimes even in early Spring and Autumn. Against its calming scenic views is the union of the bright sun lighting up its clear sky. Then, the almost cyan to cobalt blue Tyrrhenian sea meeting its refined sands. A graphic poem turned into reality. The tourists and locals were mixing together, finding their perfect spots and having the time of their lives.
Winter is pretty similar and a bit different. Same majestic feeling less the busy places and the many feet flocking its narrow streets.
Today, I spent the entire morning immersed in the magic of this stunning and enchanting city. It’s 22 degrees, lovely! The water was too cold to bathe. I am okay with just hearing the sound of the big waves. The sight of the seagulls resting on the sand. I saw five or six barefoot travellers wandering on the beach. Probably the same as me, reflecting on life and absorbing themselves in the wonder of nature. A few people were strolling here and there. Young and old couples, birdwatching teenagers, a mom teaching her child how to bike, and two women jogging. I could not swim, but the view and the peace are enough. Winter in Cefalu is surely on my list of Sicily favourites.
Walking the Cefalu Streets
The cobblestone roads leading to the historic centre were empty. Little businesses were open. Some gelato stands and bars near the main square. There were souvenir shops and a few others heading to the modern section of the village too. You can find shopping and commercial stores in this section of the town. I met some residents along the way, we exchanged smiles and pleasant chats. These short talks are precious, you can get to know the area more and make great memories. Sicilians are some of the nicest people in the world. Some may look snobbish and cannot care less at first. Wait until you say the magic word ‘Buongiorno. They always turned out to be just fine. This fruit vendor Signore here for example who pointed me to a secret spacious terrace deck behind the church of Santa Maria dell’Itria and San Giovanni.
Cefalu Points of Interest
Unfortunately, I was not able to see the small churches, and there were thirteen of them I think. However, the good news is I enjoyed the entire Cefalù Cathedral to myself. How I love Winter in Cefalu! I was alone with three church staff. The main entrance(not the gate) of the Cefalù Duomo was under construction. Hence, I had to use the door on the side. It should be okay now once you read this blog. Because of the maintenance, the door was wide open too and the sunlight coming through made the design more visible.
I took my time and stayed inside for more than an hour, it was a solemn experience. I am not the religious type. However, I felt so honoured to be at the same place where important figures in history went centuries ago. From King Roger II of Sicily to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and other kings. The Cefalu Cathedral was built almost the same time as the Cappella Palatina of the Palazzo Reale in Palermo. It was around 1132 and were finished decades after. Both exhibit the merge of Arab-Norman-Byzantine styles and are parts of the UNESCO World Heritage site series of Palermo.
It was believed that Norman Kings, particularly Roger II did not discriminate races and hired men from various backgrounds. Being fond of the Arab culture, he assigned Arab artists to embellish the church interior with handcrafted mosaics. More ornaments and statues from different artisans were added. The results are spiritually breathtaking. It features wall to the ceiling of pure arts. The altar has the original mosaics of Christ Almighty as the Ruler of All. Below it is the mosaics of Mary, the four archangels, and the apostles. My eyes were so occupied, every detail has a story to tell. My neck was a bit painful though. I looked up so much, too stunned with the artistry.
I suggest reading a bit before visiting, Wiki will do, or you can see more information here about Cefalù. Winter weather is unpredictable so make sure to bring warm clothes. Please do not skip this city when travelling to Sicily. Feel free to message us if you have any questions or need suggestions in Cefalù or any parts of Sicily.
Ciao and see you!
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