Palermo: La Cuba

Together with the palace of La Zisa, discussed previously, La Cuba is one of the summer residences of the Norman kings of Sicily outside Palermo. The palace was built in 1180 by King William II “the Good” (1166-1189). The name of the Arab-Norman building is obviously not related to the…

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Palermo: La Zisa

The palace of La Zisa was once one of the summer residences of the Norman kings of Sicily. The construction of the palace started in 1165 during the reign of King William I “the Bad” (1154-1166). Although the King hired competent workmen who built the palace in record time, La…

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The rock of Cefalù

The charming town of Cefalù lies beneath a great rock, the Rocca. The Ancient Greeks felt that this rock closely resembled a human head (κεφαλή) and therefore called the town Kephaloidion. In the Byzantine era Kephaloidion was a prosperous town that had its own bishop. This era started in the…

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Cefalù: The Duomo

On a beautiful sunny morning in January of 2023 I visited the famous cathedral of Cefalù that rises along the north coast of Sicily. The trip by train from Palermo to Cefalù was comfortable and quick, and from the railway station is was just a short walk to the Duomo.…

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Palermo: San Cataldo

The church of San Cataldo is definitely the most conspicuous building on the Piazza Bellini in Palermo. With its Arabic lancet windows and three red domes the church could just as well have been a mosque. The San Cataldo, which has been UNESCO world heritage since 2015, is a fine…

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