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Cefalù is an old Norman town and picturesque seaside resort, perfectly situated within reach of the most interesting Sicilian sites; Palermo is only an hour away by motorway or train. Blessed with sandy beaches, narrow cobbled streets, an acclaimed museum (housing Antonello da Messina’s masterpiece, Portrait of an Unknown Man), an awe-inspiring Romanesque cathedral, Cefalù is not to be missed. The stunning mosaics which adorn the city’s cathedral are both the oldest Byzantine-Norman mosaics in Sicily as well as some of the finest in the world. Cefalù is prominently featured in John Julius Norwich’s history of Norman Sicily, The Kingdom in the Sun. The town was captured in the Oscar-winning film, “Cinema Paradiso”. Cefalù is located within the boundaries of the Parco delle Madonie, a 40,000 hectare nature reserve containing splendid mountain landscapes, ancient villages and numerous hiking trails. The Park is a “botanic paradise” possessing within its confines more than a half of the 2600 species known to Sicily. The restored flat is in the town centre (closed to car traffic most of the day) in an old palazzo on the second floor without lift. the palazzo has always been a significant building in the old part of town, being without any doubt the most distinguished among the mansions along the sea front. So much so that it is briefly mentioned in Vincenzo Consolo’s bestselling novel The Smile of the Unknown Mariner (Carcanet Press, 1994). Its unique location right on the seafront with a magnificent view of the coast on one side, and looking out over the roof tops and the cathedral from the bedroom window, gives it its peculiar charm. The flat measures around 40 square metres. It sleeps two/three people. It consists of one bedroom with a double bed, a bathroom and a sitting room with two balconies over the sea, one of which is wide enough for a small breakfast table, or two deck chairs. You can sit in the living room or balcony and feel as if you were on a cruise, let yourself be lulled by the sound of the sea or contemplate the magic of its changing colours at different times of the day. Just below the flat there is a small sandy cove that can be reached very easily, while the main beach is only five minutes away. The sitting room has a cooking corner with four gas-rings, a microwave, a small fridge and all indispensabile kitchenware. Iron and ironing board are also provided. An extra fold-up bed can be put in the sitting room for a third guest. The flat has air conditioning. It is rented for a minimum of one week, from Saturday to Saturday, unless otherwise agreed. Check in time 5 p.m, check out 9,30 a.m. (This is to allow for the cleaning but if there is no previous occupant, check in can be arranged for an earlier time). The price includes one gas cylinder, bed linen and one complete set of towels p.p., final cleaning, electricity up to 25 Kw per week (electricity in excess generally due to the use of air conditioning, to be paid at current price). The flat is booked on reception of an advance of 30% of the total amount. The balance of rent to be settled on entering the flat. A deposit of 200 euros is required as caution money, to be returned on leaving the flat if there is no damage.
By Julie Brown on 10-May-2019
Fifth time back in Maria Carla's wonderful apartment.
Stunning views from every window and balcony.
The pretty little harbour from Cinema Paradiso is just below, the beach is to the left, the Cathedral and La Rocca can be seen from the bedroom and the sound of the Mediterr anean is an ever present.
Sunsets are spectacular and it is so refreshing to spend time away from 'the connected world'.
Free wifi is available throughout the old town, however, if you need to access the internet and social media.
Wonderful restaurants, bars and ice-cream parlours are to be found close by (La Brace is our favourite restaurant), Cathedral Coffee is welcoming and great value for breakfast or evening drinks - say hello to Davide if you're there, La Trinitaria is well worth a visit for a drink and some lunch and Squagghio is great for ice-cream.
Maria Carla is a warm and welcoming host and it is fascinating to read about the history of the apartment which has been in the family for generations.
By Martin Wyatt on 10-May-2019
We were there for 6 days and for four of these the weather was excellent though not excessively hot, and for two there was heavy rain for at least half the day. One day was a bank holiday and on that day the town was crowded and lively with loud music.
The apartment is very well-situated, directly on the sea wall and right in the historic centre. We walked there downhill from the station in 15 minutes. The view over the town, small harbour and sea are lovely.
We made all the arrangements by email. Mariacarla speaks flawless English. She met us at the apartment and provided us with all the information we needed to use it correctly. A security deposit was taken and returned at the end of the stay. There is a large sitting-room with adequate seating and tables and two balconies, and a small kitchen area in the same room. The kitchen area has all the necessary utensils, plates etc. although we did no cooking beyond making tea and boiling an egg: there are too many restaurants in the area for this to be required. Mariacarla left us with a good supply of her own oranges, grapefruits and marmalade.
The bedroom was large and the bed was comfortable and wide. There was a small room for hanging clothes and a chest of drawers. There was a hairdryer too.
I would certainly recommend this as a comfortable and convenient place to stay in Cefalù.
We reached Cefalù as follows: “Prestia e Commandè” bus from Palermo airport to Palermo (tickets online in advance, at the office in the arrivals hall, or on the bus if you have right money. The bus departs from a stop on the right as you exit the arrivals hall and runs every half hour) and then (the following day) train to Cefalù (we purchased these tickets online in advance). We used public transport (train and bus) to visit Monreale (bus tickets can be purchased in the tabaccheria at Palermo station). Train tickets at Cefalù are purchased at the tabaccheria at the station or from a machine in the station. We used local agencies to book trips: Noema Viaggi for Stromboli and Gukan (via Bagno Cicerone 6) for a trip to Agrigento. I speak very highly of this latter agency. Agencies advertise trips for specific days, but beware that they will cancel them if they do not get enough punters. Also, note that tours offer different languages so you need to check that you speak the language of the tour. We also visited Central Palermo on foot on our way back to the airport.
By P Hargie on 20-May-2018
My husband and I spent 18night in this apartment. The location is beyond compare! Everything is neside you- beach shops restaurants and above all hiztory.
The views from every window are stunningly beautiful.
The apartment is spacious and well equiped - nothing is too much trouble for the owner. Addtional requests for extra linnen etc are met with grace.
Both my husband and I are intending to return here again soon
Una finestra aperta sul mare
By Cristina C. Mazzalai on 18-Jul-2017
Date of Stay
2 Jul 2017
Helpful votes: 0/0
L'incantevole affaccio sul mare e la cordialità della padrona di casa sono eccezionali. L'appartamento è arredato senza lussi ma pulito e con tutto il necessario. Le fotografie descrivono bene l'interno ma non riescono a raffigurare lo splendore del panorama che si spalanca da finestre e balconcini. L'assenza della TV non si fa certo sentire, visto lo spettacolo offerto dai tramonti. Adatto a coppie che cercano una vacanza immersa nello spirito del luogo. L'appartamento ha l'ingresso direttamente nelle viuzze del pittoresco centro storico, con botteghe, ristoranti e locali. La proprietaria è di squisita gentilezza. Valutate la possibilità di arrivare a Cefalù direttamente in treno da Palermo.
Ideal seaside apartment
By Jeremy Dummett on 26-Sep-2016
After a few days in Palermo which we love but find nevertheless intensely urban we wanted a relaxing week by the sea. This we certainly found here. The views of the sea are breathtaking. The curve of the bay and the hillside remind one of Greece as do the remains of the old harbour below. The swimming just below the flat was some of the best we have had in Sicily. The old town of Cefalù is fascinating especially the Norman cathedral and the Mandralisca museum. The location and llayout of the apartment are first class as is the service. Strongly recommended
clean and characterful property fabolous location
By Clive Whilde on 28-Aug-2016
An amazing location your whole world can shrink to a 500m radius of the apartment and you'll have everything you need. Fantastic restaurants in the town. La galleria and Le Chat Noir were my favourites Il Covo de Pirato the restaurant right next door is also excellent and they always make an effort to get you seated it is hard to spend more than 50 euros for two people with wine more common is around 35 euros. The ice cream shop right next door is the best I've head (yougurt flavour) and the little Deli further down has everything you could want We used Mario's sun loungers most days for about 20 euros for a pair; the sea in the bay is beautiful and clear Maria was most welcoming a nice bottle of wine and homemade marmaladeto greet us with and even came to our rescue when we locked ourselves out The apartment itself is basic but has everything you need for a holiday stay as long as you do not want a three course meal as there is no oven. No washing machin either and the kitchen and bathroom although clean and functional are a bit dated. I loved my stay and would definitely return.
amazing sea view from historical quaint flat
By Tracey Ey on 09-Jul-2016
Our stay in this flat was lovely When you first walk in to it with Maria you can't help be swept away by the spectacular sea views. Maria explains the history of it in relation to her family and Cefalù leaving you instantly in love and at home here The flat was clean and tidy with quirky cupboards and decor that you would expect from a building from this period. Being located on the sea front and in the middle of the "old town" makes it an ideal location Maria was helpful and friendly upon arrival and kept in touch before and during our stay. There is a vast choice of restaurants and wine bars near by with entertainment in Cefalù and local attractions close such as climbing La Rocca A wonderful stay awaits anyone who books this flat We will be back for sure!
By Jane Healy on 11-Jun-2016
this is a wonderfully located apartment with glorious sea views but also in the centre of Cefalù but not affected by noise. The owner maria could not be more helpful and adds to the whole experience but is also not intrusive. The apartment has lots of family history and it's worth reading the information Lefte by maria This means that it is not full of modern furniture and gizmos but it is clean well equipped and is benefitting from being slowly but sympathetically modernized. Locally there are great shops and restaurants. Highly recommended and we would return
Glorious week in historic Cefalù
By Lynn Davies on 11-May-2016
We have just come back from a very enjoyable stay in this lovely apartment right in the heart of the old town. Small shops restaurants and bars are just a few steps away and the sandy beach is about a 10 minute walk. The apartment is very cosy and has just stunning views of the sea beach and sunsets. The balcony gets the sun virtually the whole da. Thank you for looking after us Maria Carla.