Cefalù and its imposing Norman Cathedral
The picturesque historic town of Cefalù stands on top of a rock promontory, and it is a really attractive mix, showing a remarkable artistic, cultural, and architectonical heritage, created domination after domination. Cefalù, besides its famous beaches, offers an interesting old town, when the Greek, Roman, Arabian, and Norman culture mix with all of its historic periods.
The Duomo of this hamlet in Sicily, a beautiful and imposing Norman Cathedral, two-towers, inside which, among the various well-preserved marvels, there are lovely mosaics made by Byzantine artists from the XII Century. The Temple of Diana is an ancient megalithic monument dating back to the V Century B.C., Greek Classic style, while Osterio Magno is the ruin of a great palace from the XIII Century. Of particular interest is the Historic Museum of Cefalù. Then, the colourful harbour, alleys, and its many medieval buildings are worth a visit too.
Castelbuono, where the Ventimiglia Castle overlooks
Castelbuono, inhabited since the Neolithic, is an interesting melting pot of Greek, Byzantine, Arabian, and Norman Art. The toponym of Castelbuono appeared for the first time in 1329, on some official papers. A great-value building is the fourteenth-century Ventimiglia Castle, showing a quadrangular plan, amazing richly decorated halls with beautiful portals and Gothic windows. Around the XV Century, the relics of St. Anna were brought into the castle, Saint who became, later, the patron of Castelbuono.
Along its main road, it is possible admiring the fountain of the Venere Ciprea, from the XV Century. Among the many important and interesting examples of religious architecture, there are the Church of St. Maria degli Angeli, the Church of Maria Santissima Assunta, and the Church of St. Vincenzo.
Gratteri and its medieval-shaped old town
Gratteri (in the District of Palermo) has been on the territory since the time between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, while the core of the settlement was founded in the IX Century, while a Muslim military district was being built. Its Arabian origins can be easily found in the many toponym and in the number of architectonical examples.
Among the amenities offered by Gratteri to its guests, there is the typical medieval old town, the ruins of the Castle, the Main Church located in the center of the town, which shows an incredible wooden pulpit, as well as the Church of St. Sebastiano. Few kilometres away from the ancient hamlet, there is the Abbey of St. Giorgio, from the Norman period, which is definitely worth a visit.
Gibilmanna and the Sanctuary that used to be a monastery of Benedictines
The Arabian and Norman denomination left many precious testimonies of the enchanting Gibilmanna, such as the Museum of Fra Giammaria from Tusa, which twists and turns over ten rooms, has an important library, and it is annexed to the Sanctuary of Gibilmanna.
The famous Sanctuary of Gibilmanna, which is dedicated to the worship of the Santissima Vergine, originally was a Benedictine monastery, abandoned around the Tenth Century, during the Saracen seizure. When the Normans expelled the Saracens from Sicily, monastic institutions thrived again also in Gibilmanna. In 1228, it obtained the title of Priory, while the religious complex was committed to the Capuchins in 1535.