In Cefalu’, Sicily: Under the Sicilian Sun

Sapore di Sale….Sapore di Mare…..

It was 1963 when Gino Paoli, one of Italy’s hottest singers of those years, debuts with this summer hit.  We are in 2014 and the song is as contemporary as ever when summer lazy days and afternoons at the beach become routine in the lifestyle of all Sicilians.  If you are not in Sicily at the moment, we can all travel there with our imaginations, a few photos and, hopefully, an entertaining and inspirational story.  Thank you for joining me this summer on my blog.  If you are ever planning to travel to Sicily or Italy or the Mediterranean, I would love to help you design the journey of a lifetime and share the love I hold so deeply for this geographical area of the world!

Today we take a stroll in the charming village of Cefalu’.  Located  on the northern shores of my native Sicily, between Palermo and Messina — it is renowned for its ricotta pastries, gelati artigianali siciliani {handmade Sicilian ice cream} and  seafood but also for its  one-of-a-kind breathtaking and peculiar  Cattedrale and serene beach/ sea waters.   It was 1131 when the Norman {French} King Roger II was left ashore with his ship and crew members during a terrible storm.  He thought he would loose his life in that exact occurrence and, having found, this hidden Sicilian treasure ordered the immediate construction of a magnificent cathedral to manifest eternal gratitude to the people of Cefalu’, their Sicilian hospitality and generous hearts.  The imposing structure and strategic positioning  appear to be almost “protecting” the entire village.  It is one of Sicily’s most prominent cathedrals, and certainly an unforgettable visit.

The name “Cefalu'” comes from the Greek “Kefaludion” = head, as in the top, the first, the most important.  Cefalu’ is today a very simple fishing hamlet where every day life is slow and restorative, where children still play soccer in its alleys draped with hanging clothes from balcony to balcony soaking in the Sicilian sun, where an incredible scent of freshly baked pane {bread} and ricotta filled cannoli graciously perfume the air and palm trees intertwine with olive groves.  Seafood is abundant and is the main staple all summer in the cucine cefaludesi (in Italian) or cifalutane (in Sicilian).

If you’d like to dig deeper and understand the magic of this enchanted corner of Sicily, head to Gibilmanna – a suburb of Cefalu’- to the Sanctuary of Gibilmanna, one of the most prominent centers for devotion to the Virgin Mary {La Madonna di Gibilmanna}  in all of Sicily.  If you don’t believe in magic though, you will never find it here or anywhere else.  If you do,  then, and will take the time to be open to the incredible blessings you may find all around you throughout your travels in Sicily – then you will be pleasantly surprised.    May you always travel and live with an open mind and heart.  May your life be a pleasant surprise….

View of Cefalu, Sicily......{Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

View of Cefalu, Sicily……{Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Cattedrale di Cefalu', Sicily  {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Cattedrale di Cefalu’, Sicily {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

All'interno della Cattedrale di Cefalu'....Inside the Cathedral of Cefalu', Sicily   {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

All’interno della Cattedrale di Cefalu’….Inside the Cathedral of Cefalu’, Sicily {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

A walk in Cefalu', Sicily   {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

A walk in Cefalu’, Sicily {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Chiese/Churches in Cefalu', Sicily   {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Chiese/Churches in Cefalu’, Sicily {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Cortili/Courtyards in Cefalu', Sicily    {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Cortili/Courtyards in Cefalu’, Sicily {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Palazzi Nobili/Noble Palaces in Cefalu', Sicily    {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Palazzi Nobili/Noble Palaces in Cefalu’, Sicily {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Vicoli/Alleys in Cefalu', Sicily    {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Vicoli/Alleys in Cefalu’, Sicily {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Spiaggia e mare di Cefalu....Beach and sea in Cefalu', Sicily    {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Spiaggia e mare di Cefalu….Beach and sea in Cefalu’, Sicily {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

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