The Norman heritage: Cefalù and Palermo - Excursions from Port
First stop of our tour is Cefalù, a charming unspoiled village with winding, narrow, medieval streets and delightful restaurants overlooking a rocky coast.
The most important monument is the Duomo of Cefalù which was begun in 1131 by Roger II and it was intended as the principal religious seat in Sicily. The museum "Mandralisca" houses an "Antonello da Messina" painting and a collection of coins, ceramics, vases, minerals and shells. The squares, streets and churches of this medieval town are so pretty that it's no wonder director Giuseppe Tornatore chose to set parts of his much-loved film “Cinema Paradiso” here.
Cefalù is: honey-hued stone buildings, mosaic-adorned cathedral and dramatic backdrop of La Rocca (the Rock), narrow cobbled streets and long sandy beach. The town is perfectly suited to slow, pedestrianised exploration. The little port is lined with narrow fishing boats; the seafront promenade is very popular for the passeggiata (evening stroll), as is the main street, Corso Ruggero.
Palermo is the capital and most important city of Sicily, it is in fact the administrative center and main tourist attraction of the island. During this tour we will focus on the most important part of the capital that is its medieval area, where it will be possible to visit the splendid Baroque and Arab-Norman sites of the city. The Cathedral is also a must: a magnificent and imposing building that stands on the ruins of the ancient cathedral; it was transformed into a mosque by the Arabs and rededicated to Christian worship by the Norman kings.