Chilling in Cefalu


A few days ago, I went on an early morning sketching walk before we headed out for the day. I stopped in Piazza Pretoria to sketch the dome of the Chiesa di Santa Caterina and as the sun rose and hit me directly in my eyes, I got up to wander back towards home. On the way, I peeked into a Baroque style church, called Santa Anna, off of a tiny piazza and had a look around. A man who worked in the church, saw me poking around and pointed out a few interesting pieces in the church, including a painting from the 1800s in which Jesus appears to be opening and closing his eyes when you walk from one side to the other. 

Chiesa di Santa Anna, Palermo

Chiesa di Santa Anna, Palermo
This is a painting where Jesus' eyes look opened or closed depending on the angle from which you are looking at it.

Later that day, we headed to Cefalu, a small town that sits at the foot of a rocky crag overlooking the sea. We were drawn to Cefalu for what we'd heard were the must-see mosaics in its duomo and ended up staying the entire day for some preseason beach time. Like the other churches I'd seen so far, the Duomo di Cefalu was a hybrid of styles, having been built in 1131 in a Norman style and added to in the following centuries. The mosaics were crafted by artisans brought in from then Constantinople and are very similar to those seen in Monreale and Cappela Palatina, though only the apse and nearby walls are decorated.

After our visit, we made our way to the shore for some much anticipated beach time. It was warm enough to swim, though the water had some frigid undertones.  Soaking in the spring sun and lazing on the sand was heavenly. We finished off the day with a gelato in a brioche- one of the specialties here- where the creamy ice cream is packed into a sweet bun and is effectively an ice cream hamburger. It was delicious. Finally, it was time to say goodbye to the beach and Cefalu, and return to Palermo with ice cream in our bellies and smiles on our faces.

Cattedrale di Cefalu

Cattedrale di Cefalu

Mosaics, Cattedrale di Cefalu

Column detail- very expressive face- Cattedrale di Cefalu

The beach!

Ice cream in a brioche- an ice cream hamburger

Drive back to Palermo


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