Erik Gustavson

Sicily is Italy´s tiara and the city of Cefalu´ a shining gem, if not the crown jewel, itself.

We landed in Sicily for the first time a November afternoon, five years ago. The following day we had already bought a house in the hills overlooking the sea and the sparkling lights from Palermo, some fifty km away. We seek to return to our home abroad, as often as we can.

The northern coast of the biggest island in the Mediterranean, is staggeringly dramatic and brutally magnificent.

An hour´s train ride to the east of Palermo, the Barcelona of Italy, soon to be discovered by the hip and cool millennials from abroad,- you will find Cefalu´. At the bottom of the hills of the Le Madonie regional park, a magical slope from 2000 meters high and down to the turquoise surf of the many beautiful beaches and bays. Cefalu´ is a unique town with ancient history and well-deserved pride, where the sea waves practically wash the streets of the lower parts of town in the autumn storms. But most of the year, the everlasting sun and the clean salty breeze.

Charming streets and houses. Excellent small restaurants and café´s and probably the island´s most beautiful sunsets. The beaches are open for business from Easter time and through all of October. On a good year you can go swimming until Christmas.

No place is really too far in Sicily. You can pretty much reach any destination by car in less than three hours. Cefalu´ is a great spot to hang out and a great point of departure to explore this cradle of European culture. Masters on the visual arts arena, the theater, the opera, iconic writers and composers as well as some of the best cuisine and wine come from here. From Sicily.

With the new website www.cefalu.it the city, its people, its flavors and its magical moods are being made available to a whole new audience.

Sicily will surely become one of the absolute most significant travel destinations of Europe in the future.

Erik Gustavson

Erik GustavsonErik Gustavson

I visited Cefalu for the first time with my family in 2002. We were delighted with the authentic atmosphere of the old town, the beautiful beach and the many restaurants offering excellent Sicilian food. Cefalu was different – tourism had not spoiled it.

The following year we came again and thereafter several times. We were not bored, we missed the city over and over again. Cefalu has become like another home where the mind relaxes and becomes happy.

There are a lot of good hotels in town but, especially when traveling alone, it has been nice to rent a small apartment in some of the old town’s narrow alleys. Getting up early, picking up a bread from a bakery around the corner, ripe tomatoes from a vegetable dealer and enjoying breakfast on your own small balcony makes your day.

Cefalu has over one hundred restaurants to choose from. Italian food is good and Sicilian the best. Especially appetizers and desserts are so good, that I often pass the main course completely. Small family restaurants offer unforgettable experiences with good food and warmth. It has been a great pleasure to praise them on the TripAdvisor site.

It’s easy to come to Cefalu. You can ask the taxi to pick you up from Palermo/Catania airport or if you are not busy or tired, then you can travel by train. The service has always worked promptly both in ordering transportation or renting an apartment, which is a source of great joy for the Finn, who appreciates organized society.

The train ride to Palermo takes about an hour. After spending a day in the noisy and hectic big city, it is wonderful to return to Cefalu’s peace. You can easily take a bus to some of the delightful destinations in the neighborhood, such as the small town of Castelbuono. Traveling goes smoothly, even without renting a car.

The best in Cefalu are the inhabitants; lively and noisy people who also eagerly speak with their hands. They are so different from us restrained Finns, but just because of that, so interesting. Some of them have become my friends, with whom it is difficult to be tense and tight.

Every time I visit Cefalu, I feel how a little Italian wakes up inside me.

Vierailin Cefalussa ensimmäisen kerran perheeni kanssa vuonna 2002. Ihastuimme vanhan kaupungin aitoon ilmapiiriin, upeaan rantaan ja lukuisten ravintoloiden tarjoamiin herkkuihin. Cefalu oli erilainen kuin kaikki muut aiemmin näkemämme etelän kohteet. Turismi ei ollut pilannut sitä.

Seuraavana vuonna tulimme taas ja sen jälkeen useita kertoja. Kaupunkiin ei kyllästy vaan sinne kaipaa yhä uudelleen ja uudelleen. Cefalusta on tullut minulle kuin toinen koti, jossa mieli rauhoittuu ja tulee onnelliseksi.

Kaupungissa on lukuisia hyviä hotelleja mutta, etenkin yksin matkustaessani, hienointa on ollut vuokrata pieni yksiö jostain vanhan kaupungin kapeilta kujilta, nousta aikaisin aamulla, noutaa patonki nurkan takana olevasta leipomosta, kypsiä tomaatteja vihanneskauppiaalta ja nauttia aamiainen omalla pienellä parvekkeella ohikulkevia ihmisiä tarkkaillen.

Cefalussa on yli sata ravintolaa joista valita. Italialainen ruoka on hyvää ja sisilialainen kaikkein parasta. Etenkin alkupalat ja jälkiruuat ovat niin hyviä, että usein ohitan pääruuan kokonaan. Pienet perheravintolat tarjoavat unohtumattomia elämyksiä niin hyvän ruuan kuin lämpimän ilmapiirin ansiosta. On ollut suuri ilo kehua niitä TripAdvisor –sivustolla.

Cefaluun on helppo tulla. Palermon/Catanian kentälle voi tilata auton noutamaan tai jos ei ole kiire tai väsynyt olo, niin voi matkustaa junalla. Palvelu on toiminut aina moitteettomasti niin kuljetusten tilaamisessa kuin asunnon vuokrauksessa, mikä seikka ilahduttaa täsmällisyyteen tottunutta suomalaista erityisen paljon.

Cefalusta pääsee Palermoon junalla noin tunnissa. Vietettyään päivän meluisassa ja hektisessä suurkaupungissa on ihanaa palata Cefalun rauhaan. Myös bussiyhteyksiä on lähiseutujen upeisiin kohteisiin, kuten Castelbuonon pikkukaupunkiin. Liikkumaan pääsee sujuvasti, vaikkei vuokraisikaan omaa autoa.

Parasta Cefalussa ovat sen asukkaat, elämänmyönteiset ja äänekkäät ihmiset, jotka puhuvat innokkaasti myös käsillään. He ovat niin erilaisia kuin me hillityt suomalaiset mutta juuri sen takia niin kiinnostavia. Eräistä heistä on tullut ystäviäni, joiden seurassa on vaikeaa olla jännittynyt ja tiukka.

Cefalussa vieraillessani huomaan joka kerta kuinka sisälläni herää pieni italialainen.

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