Cefalù and Castelbuono
The different twins
A day trip enjoying the seaside atmosphere of Cefalù, with its stupendous Norman Cathedral, its superb beach, the small harbor and the fishing restaurant.
But sometimes beach and mountain are really near: so only 30 minutes driving and you are in an other world: Castelbuono is the “capital” of the Madonie mountain: a small town at the foot of its spectacular castle, surrounded by hills covered with forests of manna ash and chestnuts.
Cefalu and Castelbuono is one of the most loved among our day trips.
The Norman Cathedral made this town famous, but it is not the only attraction of the old city: the sandy beach is really close to the center, the small harbor is so cozy that it was used to shot several movies. The medieval Lavatoio (washing area), probably from the Arab period, is a very romantic corner. In the museum Mandralisca the main attraction is the Portait of an Unknown Man, by Antonello da Messina.
The cliff dominating the city (the Rocca) is a great hiking possibility, the shops along the main street Corso Ruggero and the restaurants serving the freshest fish. This town has all you can wish and it is perfect for a relaxing day!
Completely different from Cefalù, despite being less than half an hour from it, Castelbuono is a charming medieval village, 400 meters up on the Madonie mountains, surrounded by forests of manna ashes and chestnuts.
The castle, seat of the civic museum, dominates the whole landscape: built by the Ventimiglia family in 1316, is worth a visit especially because of the chapel of St. Anna and its extravagant baroque stucco decorations by the Serpotta school. In the main square we find the Matrice Vecchia, the old mother church, built in 1350, preceded by a loggia.