After two days of perfectly sunny day, my luck started to fade away…our last full day in Sicily was mostly cloudy and a mix of rain. According to the weather forecast, Cefalù – a seaside town, should be cloudy with some sunshine. I was hoping for that during our 3 hours drive from Taormina. After going through numerous tunnels and mountains and paying over €13 in tolls, we arrived at the historical seaside town of Cefalù. There is a gravel parking lot right outside of the old town and it was €6. Once parked, it was like a 5-minute walk to the entrance of the old town and there was a blue sky!
The map of the old town:
The main road through the old town is filled with unique, made in Sicily souvenir shops! We were super thrilled to shop for souvenirs to bring home with us as a memory of Sicily. What struck me was those metal balconies with clothes hanging, it felt like a residential old town rather than commercial.
Look at those handcrafts, so pretty, I want to bring them all home but we still have half the world to go on our trip! We went back and forth debating rather to get that light orange 3-story house hanging down in the photo below. Unbelievably, that thing weighs like 10 lbs! How to hand carry this for all our flights? Oh and the price, it was only €20!!!
I wouldn’t say Cefalù is not touristy but it’s manageable without the bus tours. The unicolored old stone houses with those sticking out balconies and old street lamps added charm to the historical old town.
We came across another interesting shop, aren’t those the cutest bucket? Guess which one I got to use as my candy can?
Cefalù’s historical town is quite compact and the walk from the parking lot to all the way out to Cefalù Beach was less than 15 minutes of walk, if you don’t stop and shop 😉 At the Cefalù Beach, there’s a walkway that you can walk up for the best views of Cefalù’s old town. By the time we got there, it was already completely cloudy. The sky looked like it was about to rain so I suggested to have lunch and wait for it to clear up, hopefully!
We had lunch at Benvenuti AL GABBIANO facing the sea. We sat inside knowing that it’ll rain and it got cold!
We ordered the steamed mussels, it was plenty and fresh.
I ordered the seafood spaghetti and it was edible only, it barely has any seafood taste! Yikes, give me the ingredients and I can cook better!
Jason’s seafood risotto was a huge disappointment. We didn’t expect it to be great as the one we had the night before at Trattoria Don Ciccio but we were expecting an average seafood risotto. Once again, not much seafood taste, look at the ingredients they used! I don’t get how this restaurant has great ratings in TripAdvisor hum…..the basics of seafood restaurant: steamed mussels, seafood spaghetti and seafood risotto – none of it is good 🙁 Our not so satisfying lunch was $41.19.
We sat there for a little while so the passing rain has ended and we walked to our car to get my cardigan – it was cold! Afterward, we walked to Cefalù Cathedral that dominated the middle of the old town.
The interior wasn’t glamorous like the other cathedrals we visited in Noto area but it was nevertheless simple and lots of natural lights.
More street views outside of the cathedral:
Hum those hanging curtains for blocking the sun or the rain?
The store fronts are very beautiful as well!
Chiesa del Purgatorio marked with a unique staircase:
I was waiting for over 5 minutes for this guy to move out of the way and I ran out of patience so I took the photo as is.
Another point of interest is the Lavatoio Medievale Fiume Cefalino, it was a “wash house” back at the medieval times!
When we saw a slice beam of light from the sun, we decided to walk back to the Cefalù Beach for the photos of the old town.
It was still cloudy but at least not dark.
The walkway you can walk up for the awesome views of Cefalù!
I really like how the old town in all shades of yellow located right on the beach and with the huge rock as the backdrop – Iscrizione Rocca Cefalù.
Then, I couldn’t believe it that it really cleared up, the sun came out, and the blue sky! Photo time!!! Cefalù is one of my favorite places in Sicily – lots of unique souvenir shops and photogenic old town!
After spending some hours in Cefalù, it was time to head back to Taormina – another 3 hours drive, we wanted to make it back before sunset to check out it’s “beautiful island” – Isola Bella. On our way walking back to the parking lot, we stopped by those stores and purchased our souvenirs. Goodbye Cefalù, you are beautiful!
The 3 hours of drive, we counted to 70+ tunnels that we passed through LOL! We drove down to Taormina to Isola Bella and came across this dome, it was cute so I stopped for a photo!
Parking was just as challeging as the center of the town and luckily we found a spot on the street right across from the entrance walkway down to Isola Bella. Isola Bella – this little island connected by a “sandbar”:
We were there pretty late in the day and it was a cold day so not much people at the beach. It was almost empty!
The weather wasn’t co-operating so it was hopeless for a colorful sunset so we didn’t stay long. We took a few photos and left. It’s always a dilemma that when the weather is perfect, the beach would be packed with people so you wouldn’t be able to get a photo like this without people blocking your photo.
Lastly, we drove back to our hotel and walked down to Trattoria Don Ciccio to have our last best seafood risotto! Jason and I both ordered the seafood risotto, gosh that flavorful seafood taste and perfectly cooked risotto is definitely a dish we’ll remember forever! When will we ever find another seafood risotto that can be compared to that?