Holiday in Sicily        27th June - 4th July 2013

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Wednesday 3rd July - Visit to Palermo and to Cefalu.

In Palermo we visited La Cappella Palatina, the Cathedral and La Chiesa Santa Caterina as well as a walking tour with a guide to describe the more important sights.



The decorations in the chapel are quite amazing Norman wall mosaics depicting tales from the Old and New Testaments. Roger II commissioned the chapel.  There are other parts to the Palazzo dei Normanni which we did not have time to view.


Building work on the cathedral began in 1185 but it was not completed until the dome was finished in 1801. As a result there are several styles of building and internal decoration.


The Quattro Canti (the Four Corners) is the hectic crossroads at the centre of the old city that divides it into four quarters.  The buildings at the crossroads are decorated with sculptures that represent the seasons, one of the four Spanish Kings of Sicily and the patron saints of the quarters.  The Piazza Pretoria is just a few metres along the Via Maqueda. Central to the piazza is the Fontana Pretoria with statuary of naked or near naked nymphs, tritons, gods and youths of varying sizes.  Opposite is the Chiesa della Santa Caterina.


The church of Santa Caterina is beautifully decorated as the Cappella Palatina with frescoes and mosaics to a high standard in the Baroque style.


Later in the day we visited the seaside town of Cefalu.  The town is a maze of narrow streets on a grid pattern and with many small shops.  In one of them can be found an ancient laundry from Arab days. The Duomo stands out with its twin towers. The interior is well decorated.     There is a small lighthouse on the high ground behind the town.

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