Cefalù Castle

Cefalù, Italy

Cefalù Castle lies on the mountain above the town of the same name. The top of Cefalù Rock was already inhabited in ancient times as the remains of a temple with megalithic stonework attests. Under Byzantine rule the settlement on the mountain developed into a real town, with the consequent partial depopulation of the town center below. In the years 837-838 Cefalù withstood a first attack of the Muslims. After a new siege, which occurred in the years 857-858, the town was conquered.

During the 11th century the area was conquered by the Normans and they probably built Cefalù Castle around 1063. The present castle probably dates back to the 12th century. Archaeological evidence tells that it was probably destroyed by fire at the end of the 13th century. The castle was used during the 14th and 15th centuries, underwent extensive rearrangements between the 16th and 17th century and during the 19th century saw the total and definitive abandonment of the complex that had, meanwhile, lost military importance.

The top of Cefalù Rock with the castle now serves as a archaeological city park. It is freely accessible during daytime. Getting to the castle however is quite hard as the only way to get up this 270 meters high mountain is walking up a very long and winding footpath. And although the ruins may not be that impressive, the views from the rock over the surrounding land and sea are beautiful.



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Founded: c. 1063
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Fedor Vasilyev (15 months ago)
Great place, totally worth the small fee and the hike. The hike is really not difficult, although a bit rocky. Not much shade so keep that in mind.
Jerry Löfvenhaft (16 months ago)
Wonderful hike to the top, amazing vistas, great history at the location. The only downside is that once in the park there are no place to buy water, and also a lot of the signs explaining the history are weather worn, meaning I'm missing out on interesting facts! The wild goats are a big plus :)
Bryan Thornton (17 months ago)
You need to pay an entrance fee. I am not really sure why. It is a true hike to the top, not for the faint of heart, or flip flops. The views are amazing, but be sure to set aside 30+ mins just to go up.
Deniz Yegen (17 months ago)
They charge you an entry fee at the bottom. Feels like a bit of a shakedown since it's not a formal booth, but it's totally worth it. The hike is an actual hike that takes about 25 minutes just to get up to the top. The views and the ruins are beautiful, though. Wear sneakers, trust me.
John-Daniel Briggs (20 months ago)
Well worth the tough walk up when you know you've got ample wine when you get down! Amazing views and an interesting look at things when you get up. Not a lot left of the castle to be fair but it's definitely worth getting up there when you've been looking up at it for days just to see what it's like up there!
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