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How to Book a Hotel in Cefalù
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Hotels of Cefalù
A hotel in Cefalù is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Cefalù hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Cefalù are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Cefalù hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Cefalù hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Cefalù have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Cefalù
An upscale full service hotel facility in Cefalù that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Cefalù hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Cefalù
Full service Cefalù hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Cefalù
Boutique hotels of Cefalù are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Cefalù boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Cefalù may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Cefalù
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Cefalù travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Cefalù focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Cefalù
Small to medium-sized Cefalù hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Cefalù traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Cefalù hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Cefalù
A bed and breakfast in Cefalù is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Cefalù bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Cefalù B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Cefalù
Cefalù hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Cefalù hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Cefalù
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Cefalù hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Cefalù lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Cefalù
Cefalù timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Cefalù often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Cefalù on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Cefalù
A Cefalù motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Cefalù for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Cefalù motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Cefalù (Italian pronunciation: [tʃefaˈlu]; Sicilian: Cifalù; Greek: ΚεφαλοίδιονKephaloídion, Diod., Strabo, or ΚεφαλοιδίςKephaloidís, Ptol.; Latin: Cephaloedium, or Cephaloedis, Pliny) is a city and comune in the Province of Palermo, located on the northern coast of Sicily, Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea about 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the provincial capital and 185 kilometres (115 mi) west of Messina. The town, with its population of just under 14,000, is one of the major tourist attractions in the region. Despite its size, every year it attracts millions of tourists from all parts of Sicily and also, from all over Italy and Europe.
Of Greek foundation, the city evidently derived its name from its situation on a lofty and precipitous rock, forming a bold headland (Κεφαλή) projecting into the sea. Despite the Greek origin of its name, no mention of it is found in the works of Thucydides, who expressly says that Himera was the only Greek colony on this coast of the island; it is probable that Cephaloedium was at this time merely a fortress (φρούριον) belonging to the Himeraeans, and may very likely have been first peopled by refugees after the destruction of Himera. Its name first appears in history at the time of the Carthaginian expedition under Himilco, 396 BC, when that general concluded a treaty with the Himeraeans and the inhabitants of Cephaloedium. But after the defeat of the Carthaginian armament, Dionysius the Elder made himself master of Cephaloedium, which was betrayed into his hands. (Ibid. 78.) At a later period we find it again independent, but apparently on friendly terms with the Carthaginians, on which account it was attacked and taken by Agathocles, 307 BC. In the First Punic War it was reduced by the Roman fleet under Atilius Calatinus and Scipio Nasica, 254 BC, but by treachery and not by force of arms. Cicero speaks of it as apparently a flourishing town, enjoying full municipal privileges; it was, in his time, one of the civitates decumanae which paid the tithes of their corn in kind to the Roman state, and suffered severely from the oppressions and exactions of Verres. It also minted coins. No subsequent mention of it is found in history, but it is noticed by the geographers Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy, among the towns of Sicily, and at a later period its name is still found in the Itineraries.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire the town passed to the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) empire, and the settlement was moved from the plain to the current spur, although the old town was never entirely abandoned. In 858 AD, after a long siege, it was conquered by the Arabs, and rechristened Gafludi. For the following two centuries it was part of the Emirate of Sicily.
In 1063 the Normans captured it and in 1131, Roger II, king of Sicily, transferred it from its almost inaccessible position to one at the foot of the rock, where there was a small but excellent harbor, and began construction of the present Byzantine-style cathedral. The area was still inhabited by Byzantine Greek speakers in addition to Arabs, and these Christians were then still members of the Eastern Byzantine Church. Between the 13th century and 1451 it was under different feudal families, and then it became a possession of the Bishops of Cefalù.
During the Risorgimento, the patriot Salvatore Spinuzza was shot here in 1857. Cefalù became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Cefalù: Main sights
Main article: Cathedral of Cefalù
The Cathedral, begun in 1131, in a style of Norman architecture which would be more accurately called Sicilian Romanesque. The exterior is well preserved, and is largely decorated with interlacing pointed arches; the windows also are pointed. On each side of the façade is a massive tower of four storeys. The round-headed Norman portal is worthy of note. A semi-circular apse is set into the east end wall. Its strengthening counterforts that work like buttresses, are shaped as paired columns to lighten their aspect. The groined vaulting of the roof is visible in the choir and the right transept, while the rest of the church has a wooden roof. Fine cloisters, coeval with the cathedral, adjoin it.
Two strong matching towers flank the cathedral porch, which has three arches (rebuilt around 1400) corresponding to the nave and the two aisles.
Christus Pantokrator in the apsis of the cathedral
Church of St. Stefano.
Cefalù in 1830, by Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann.
The interior of the cathedral was restored in 1559, though the pointed arches of the nave, borne by ancient granite columns, are still visible; and the only mosaics preserved are those of the apse and the last bay of the choir; they are remarkably fine specimens of the Byzantine art of the period (1148) and, though restored in 1859–62, have suffered much less than those at Palermo and Monreale from the process. The figure of the Pantocrator gracing the apse is especially noteworthy.
Cefalù: Other churches
Santa Maria dell'Odigitria, popularly referred to simply as Itria, its name the rendition in Italian of the Greek Hodegetria, one of the standard iconographic depictions of the Virgin Mary. Probably built over a preexisting Byzantine church of the same name, the current building is from the 16th century. Until 1961 it consisted of two different religious edifices, the second being a chapel devoted to St. Michael Archangel; both were a property of the Confraternity of St. Mary of the Odigitria.
Santa Oliva (1787). It has a tuff portal.
San Sebastiano (probably 1523). It has a single nave with two frescoed niches on every side.
San Leonardo, mentioned from 1159 and, until the restoration of 1558, entitled to St. George. The original portal, now closed behind a wall, has vegetable decorations similar to the Cathedral's ones.
The Immacolatella (1661).
The Oratory of the Santissimo Sacramento (1688).
Chapel of San Biagio (St. Blaise).
Santo Stefano or Church of Purgatory.
Santissima Annunziata (c. 1511). The façade has a large rose window and a relief with the Annunciation.
The Monastery of St. Catherine.
Some remains of the ancient city are still visible, on the summit of the rock; but the nature of the site proves that it could never have been more than a small town, and probably owed its importance only to its almost impregnable position. Fazello speaks of the remains of the walls as still existing in his time, as well as those of a temple of Doric architecture, of which the foundations only are now visible. But the most curious monument still remaining of the ancient city is an edifice, consisting of various apartments, and having the appearance of a palace or domestic residence, but constructed wholly of large irregular blocks of limestone, in the style commonly called polygonal or Cyclopean. Rude mouldings approximating to those of the Doric order, are hewn on the face of the massive blocks. The doorways are of finely-cut stone, and of Greek type, and the date, though uncertain, cannot, from the careful jointing of the blocks, be very early. This building, which is almost unique of its kind, is the more remarkable, from its being the only example of this style of masonry, so common in Central Italy, which occurs in the island of Sicily. It is fully described and figured by Dr. Nott in the Annali dell'Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica, for the year 1831 (vol. iii. p. 270-87).
On the summit of the promontory are extensive remains of a Saracenic castle. The town's fortifications formerly extended to the shore, on the side where the modern town now is, in the form of two long walls protecting the port. There are remains of a wall of massive rectangular blocks of stone at the modern Porta Garibaldi on the south.
Other sights include:
The Seminary and the Bishops Palace.
Palazzo Atenasio Martino (15th century). The court has 16th-century frescoes.
Palazzo Maria (13th century). The medieval portal and a mullioned window, with Catalan-style vegetable decorations, are still visible.
Palazzo Piraino (16th century).
Osterio Magno. According to the tradition, it was built by Roger II as his mansion, but it probably dates from the 14th century. Traces of the medieval tower and decoration can be seen. Excavations held in the interior have showed the presence of ancient edifices and ceramics.
Ancient Roman baths.
The remains of the Abbey of Thelema, established by the occultist Aleister Crowley in 1920 as a magical commune before he was ordered to leave by the Benito Mussolini government in 1923. The abbey is now in a state of severe disrepair.
Remains of megalithic wall, c. 500–400 BC
Not far from the town are the sanctuary of Gibilmanna and the Gibilmanna Observatory.
Cefalù: See also
Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale
Cefalù: Sister cities
Wood Dale, Illinois, United States
Diod. xiv. 56
Id. xx. 56.
Id. xxiii., Exc. Hoesch. p. 505.
Cic. Verr. ii. 5. 2, iii. 43.
Strab. vi. p. 266; Plin. iii. 8. s. 14; Ptol. iii. 4. § 3; Itin. Ant. p. 92; Tab. Peut.
Loud, G. A. (2007). The Latin Church in Norman Italy. Cambridge University Press. p. 494. ISBN 978-0-521-25551-6. ISBN 0-521-25551-1" "At the end of the twelfth century ... While in Apulia Greeks were in a majority – and indeed present in any numbers at all – only in the Salento peninsula in the extreme south, at the time of the conquest they had an overwhelming preponderance in Lucaina and central and southern Calabria, as well as comprising anything up to a third of the population of Sicily, concentrated especially in the north-east of the island, the Val Demone.
"Abbey of Thelema Cefalù". cefalusicily.com.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cefalù.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cefalu". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
Cefalù: External links
Tourism portal of Cefalù
Comuni of the Metropolitan City of Palermo
Campofelice di Fitalia
Campofelice di Roccella
Castronovo di Sicilia
Isola delle Femmine
Piana degli Albanesi
San Giuseppe Jato
San Mauro Castelverde
Santa Cristina Gela
Ventimiglia di Sicilia
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