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Tourism & activities

General information on Sicily plus suggestions for tourist activites around Cefalů.

About Sicily

Sicily is a mountainous island, originally covered with forests, but today mostly covered with grass and underbrush - if any plants at all. Except for inplanted cactuses, figs and hazelnut trees, there are plantations of wine and fruit trees.

A lot of different ethnic groups have inhabited Sicily (wikipedia), including greeks and fenicians from 800 BC, romans from 250 BC, byzantians from 535, arabsfrom 830 and normands from 1061. After around 1200 the island belonged to the Holy Roman Empire, Spain and the House of Savoy before Garibaldi united Italy in 1860. See also: här.

In short: in Sicily there are mountains and seas, as well as architecture and anciant monuments of various kinds. There is also lots of food.

To do in August - from Cefalů

August is the hottest month of the year in Sicily, so many prefer the beach or other activities close to the sea. Another alternative is to get up in the mountains, for instance in the Parco delle Madonie national park, just above Cefalů.

Suggestions:

  • sun-bathe, swim, have coffee, eat, drink and/or read a book in Cefalů (pretty picture) or on one of the other many beaches that you find along the north coast
  • take a boat to one of the volcanic Eolian islands, of which the closest, Ustica and Alicudi are a little more than one hour away; on the island of Ustica many people like to scuba-dive close to the black lava rocks where, appearently, there's an abundance of barracudas and various spectacular schools of fish
  • trekking, mountainbiking or horseback riding in Parco delle Madonie
  • go to Palermo (see below), by car, train, bus or boat
  • go to the active volcano Etna who had its latest eruption on October 25, 2006; going to Etna from Cefalů by car takes about two hours
  • go to Agrigento on the south coast and visit the well-preserved greek temples, protected as a world heritige by the UN; Agrigento is about two hours drive from Cefalů
  • visit the Roman Villa Romana del Casale, next to the town Piazza Armerina, about one hour's drive from Cefalů; the UN world heritage Villa Romana is a very well-preserved Roman villa, where for instance you can find the largetst and most complex Roman mosaic in the world

Palermo - sights

Palermo, one hour's drive from Cefalů, is the capital of Sicily. Counting its suburbs, the city has about one million inhabitants. It's also got a big university. The airport is called Punta Raisi. For more information, see wikipedia or Palermo's official English web site.

Suggestions:

  • the 30 acre botanical garden, founded in 1779
  • the catacombs where you find skeletons and 19th century mumies
  • the opera house Teatro Massimo (wikipedia), the biggest in Italien and third in Europa, also known from the final scenes of the movie The Godfather III
  • the 600 m high hill Monte Pellegrino (view) that Goethe described as "the most beautiful foothill in the world"
  • the brand new modern museum, opened in the spring of 2007
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