About an hour from Palermo, reachable by train or by bus, there is a place which contains memories of ancient Greece, the European Middle Ages and Byzantine mosaics. This magical and medieval town is called Cefalu‘ and on its coat of arms there are three fish (called cefali - grey mullet) darting out from the sea.
The majestic temple built in 1131 by King Roger of Sicily, was destined to be his mausoleum. ( The tomb of the Sovereign is in the cathedral of Palermo today) High on the parvis rises the sixteenth-century facade. " The two mighty towers of the façade, relieved by elegant double lancet windows and single lancet windows, are surmounted by pyramidal spires added in the Fifteenth century. The façade (1240) is characterized by blind bows and interlaced arches. The portal is enriched by carvings in white marble and it is preceded by a portico (1471) with three arcades sustained by granite columns with capitals showing the Episcopalian coat of arms and groin vaults. The basilical interior is characterized by three aisles articulated by sixteen columns of granite. The central apse, the walls of the presbytery and the cross vault of the choir are decorated by mosaics realized by Byzantine workers. The images are set in procession according to a precise hierarchical principle: in the conch of the central apse, the image of the blessing Pantocrator Christ; in the underlying strip, the Virgin and four Archangels. Close to the Cathedral there is the square Cloister of the 12th century, on three sides surrounded by a portico with coupled columns with figured capitals that support ogival arches. (unesco) " (source). Visits: Nov to Mar daily h 8.30am/1.00pm - 3.30pm/5.00pm - Apr to Oct daily h 8.30am/6.30pm Cloister: daily: h 10.00am/1.00pm - 3.00pm/6.00pm