Un tuffo nel passato: l'anima medievale di Cefalù - Emerald - Residence Hotel Cefalù sul mare

A dive into the past: The Medieval soul of Cefalù

The rocks, the soil, the waterways: everything around us has a past. And if our eye is attentive, we can rediscover it, because the environment itself tells us so.
Cefalù still retains markedly medieval traits, especially in the sites we indicate below.

The fortress

The north end of Corso Ruggero is the starting point for the one-hour ascent up the cliff known as the Rocca. This 269-metre rocky outcrop is composed almost entirely of fossils and is largely covered with pine trees. Its summit is surrounded by medieval walls, most of which are original, and at the very top are the remains (some of which are reconstructions) of battlements from a Norman castle. The view from the top over the city is spectacular

Medieval wash-house

The public washhouse was built in the Middle Ages, in the heart of the old town, where women could gather to wash clothes and perhaps even bathe, in a series of large basins aligned in an unusual stepped sequence. A lava stone staircase descends into this area under wide arches, where the basins are filled with water from 22 taps. A verse written in 1655 by Vincenzo Auria is engraved at the foot of the staircase: ‘Here flows Cefalino, more salubrious than any other river, purer than silver, colder than snow’.

Osterio Magno

At the intersection of Via Amendola and Corso Ruggero, which branches off from Piazza del Duomo, stands the Hosterium Magnum (i.e. fortified building). This imposing building with double and triple-arched windows was, according to tradition, the residence of the Norman king Ruggero II in the 14th century. Its two sections date back to different eras. The older part of Via Amendola is built of tufa and golden limestone and has two windows; the new square tower has an elegant mullioned window.