In Cefalù, the visitor has a glimpse of the everyday life of Sicilians. The town, once inhabited solely by fishermen and sailors going about their daily tasks, is now becoming a major tourist resort.
Its setting is idyllic, hugging the coast with narrow picturesque streets running down to the harbour and beaches and the whole town situated
around a gigantic rock, the Cephaloedium.
The town was originally a stronghold of the Himerians, but it was later conquered by the Romans, Saracens and Normans, so it has the characteristic ruins and churches which pepper so much of Sicily.
The cathedral is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture, begun by Roger ll in 1131, with the apse and presbytery decorated with what may be the oldest and arguably the best-preserved mosaics of the mediaeval era in Sicily.
There are easy day trips to the Aeolian Islands, and the bargain ceramics centre of S. Stefano di Camastro with its roadside shops is only a few miles to the east.
Westward lies Termini Imerese, an ancient spa where thermal waters can still be drunk, and which has been restored to peace and tranquillity since the new motorway has cut it off from the main traffic route.
Excursions are available from Cefalu.