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Imposing and emotionally impactful. This is how the Rocca di Cefalù appears on that north side of the Sicilian coast. With its gaze constantly turned to the sea, it supervises and protects. It checks that everything is quiet there, that there are no dangers. Or at least that’s what it has done for many years in the past history. Then, it shifts its attention to the town below, wrapping it in an austere as well as apprehensive embrace

An old story

Like all rocky massifs, the Rocca di Cefalù, thanks to its characteristics, fulfilled a specific role. It could be compared to a sort of guardian of the sea and the earth. As well as a safe haven. The one towards which the men of the community below flocked in case of risk. We could imagine the confused swarming of those people, the quick steps, the voices inciting to escape. And then it, immovable. Good but tenacious, ready to extend its welcoming arms offering the help people sought. Currently only the memory of that glorious past remains, or rather, the imagination of modern people. Free from the growing tension that had to be felt at the sight of an invading gang.

Immagine della rocca di Cefalù e relativo abitato / Image of the fortress of Cefalù and its built-up area
Ph: Nicola Giordano on Pixabay

So what does the Rocca di Cefalù represent today? The historical scenario has completely changed. We can enjoy the mighty boulder peaccefully. Appreciate the aesthetic qualities that contrast with the kindness of the surrounding landscape. On the one hand the blue of the sea embellished by the glitter of the sun. On the other the muscular and athletic massif. As if it were an old gentleman, one of the stern ones whose rigid armor appears barren. The shades of gray, are the leathery stones predominates in its shape. Yet here and there, trees and shrubs timidly peep out. They give a touch of color, light brushstrokes of green that liven up the scenery. Here the enchantment of nature begins.

Rocca di Cefalù: routes

Tourist destination for meditation and mental relaxation. To reach the rocky giant you have to start from a small path. The one located at the western foot of the Rocca. The profile in question is easily identifiable. Here, in fact, there are a series of mills which at the time collected the waters from the west side. In contrast, the north-east front hosts the historic town of Cefalù. But let’s go back to the path. Going along it we reach the Rocca in a fusion between nature and historical past. Along the way there’s a precious testimony, the temple of Diana. A small building of which some ruins are still visible.

Rocca di Cefalù. Veduta dalla base rocciosa verso la costa / View from the rocky base towards the coast
“Cefalu (27)” by Il Turista Informato is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The ascent continues guided by the perimeter walls. Crenellated ramparts that help to convey that sense of impregnability of which the place was the residence. Thus we arrive at the ancient castle, of which today clear structural traces remain. Dated between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, it constitutes the peak from which to admire the surrounding panorama. Also particular is the metal cross erected in the elevation facing north of the walls. At night, the cross lights up, increasing its emblematic value. Thus from a privileged position the gaze is free to travel towards multiple horizons. The infinity of the sea that fades into the sky, the ancient town at the foot of the fortress where the Norman cathedral stands out, the profiles of the coast.

Rocca di Cefalù: the soft-hearted giant ultima modifica: 2020-07-30T10:54:03+02:00 da Sabrina Cernuschi

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