SICILY'S MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES
The designation “Borghi piú belli d’Italia” is a predicate for the most beautiful villages of Italy, which is run since 2001 by the eponymous association. Its task is to support small Italian towns and villages to preserve their large and unique heritage of tradition, culture, history and art.
The "Borghi più belli" in Sicily
The award is subject to strict criteria such as the architectural harmony, the balanced urban formation, and the artistic and historical quality of the buildings. And the historical city centres must be car-free. Today, 285 villages are honoured with this predicate and in Sicily, you can find 19 of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia”.
In the province Trapani, it is the village Salemi, in Palermo there are Cefalù, Gangi, Geraci Siculo and Petralia Soprano. The villages Castelmola, Castroreale, Milazzo, Monatlbano Elicona, Novara di Sicilia, San Marco D’Alunzia and Savoca lie in the province Messina. In Ragusa, it is Monterosso Alma and in Agrigento it is Sambuca di Sicilia. Ferla and Palazzolo Acreide lie in the province Caltanissetta and Sutera and Castiglione di Sicilia in Catania. In the province Enna lies the village Sperlinga.
The picturesque villages Cefalù and Savoca
Cefalù lies about one hour east from Palermo at the northern coast of Sicily. It is the most popular tourist city after Palermo and Taormina, and has something for everyone! The magnificent old town offers historical buildings; the hinterland is characterized by the Monti Madonie with great excursion possibilities and a kilometre-long sandy beach on the western coast.
The old town Cefalù Vecchio with its narrow alleys, lies between the sea and the massive and 270m high rock “Rocca di Cefalù”. The mysterious limestone rock gave the city its name.
With its beautiful buildings and a spectacular view, a stroll through the old town is a pleasant experience.
The cathedral Chiesa di Cefalù was built in 1131 A.C. and dazzles with a prestigious mosaic above the altar; it is an impressive example of the Sicilian Romanesque period. The sanctuary Tempio di Diana or the ruins of the Saracen fortress on the rock, which can be reached via a steep staircase are worth a visit as well. From here, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the ocean and the surrounding mountain chains.
The village Savoca lies 40km south-west from Messina in the Monti Peloritani. The small village was the film location for several scenes of the famous trilogy “The Godfather” with Marlon Brando and Al Pacino from 1972, which won several Oscars! Although it never encountered the Sicilian mafia, it came very close to the notorious mafia stronghold of the 1950s, the city Corleone. Today, some newspaper clippings in the Bar Vitelli remind of the shootings. In the church San Nicoló from the 16th century, the marriage of Al Pacino alias Michael Corleone and his wife was celebrated.
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