From Catania to Cefalú: The Sicily You Love
Cefalú and Catania are two must-see places that you shouldn’t miss on your next trip to Sicily – and you can easily find self-catering accommodation in Sicily based on your interests.
Beautiful Tiny Towns along the Way to Catania
A landscape of ravines at Fondaco Motta on the SS185. Directly on the road, steep stairs lead down to the gorge, where bizarre rock formations of mostly hexagonal basalt crystals await you. Further up the river Alcàntara towards Francavilla di Sicilia there are already very beautiful rock formations along the river, which are worth a visit. Close to the bridge to Castiglione di Sicilia in the direction of Taormina you can find an information board and hiking trails. The water there is really fresh, even at high temperatures, but suitable for cooling down after a long day’s hiking.
Welcome to Catania
Catania is the second largest city in Sicily after Palermo, with over 300,000 inhabitants. Many visitors to Sicily come at least close to the city, as it is home to the international airport Fontanarossa (CTA), which is the main hub for scheduled flights to Sicily.
The place is one of the late baroque cities of the “Val di Noto”, a historical administrative unit of Sicily, which roughly covers the south-east of Sicily. Several of these late baroque cities are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Catania. The uniform architectural style of the region is due to the constant destruction caused by the lava masses of Etna and especially by the great earthquake in 1693, which almost completely destroyed Catania and many other towns in the region. This was followed by a reconstruction in late baroque style, which can still be seen today.
In the centre of Catania, in Piazza del Duomo, you can find the most outstanding buildings of the period, including the Cathedral, as well as the fish market, which is a must-see. From the centre, the buildings quickly deteriorate and become more run-down. Catania, is an unfortunately forgotten pearl, beautiful but in need of polishing in several places.
Castellamare del Golfo and its Breathtaking Views
Halfway from Palermo to Trapani you will find this small town in a nice location. A semi-circular harbour bay is the characteristic feature of the town, and you can enjoy a breathtaking view from the adjacent mountain.
Cefalú, one of the Most Beautiful Places in Sicily
In Cefalú, Sicily can be seen in all its beauty. It is the second largest tourist centre in Sicily after Taormina. Between sea and rock the old town was embedded down narrow, cobbled streets and a liveliness characterises the city. Directly away from the old town, the kilometre-long sandy beach stretches out towards the west, where tourists and the Sicilians themselves enjoy spending their holidays.
Beside the huge Norman cathedral and the castle rock Rocca, which has almost the shape of a head and gave the city its name (Greek Kephalos Haupt), the city is perfectly suited to stay and enjoy the Sicilian dolce vita.