Hi from Cefalú!
Well, I think it is safe to say I am officially walking and eating my way through Sicily. This last weekend, in the popular tourist city of Cefalú, I really outdid myself. At the end of the day, I had walked about 14 miles and eaten about 14 times. (Okay, I’m kidding about that last part.)
When I arrived, the trademark turquoise coastline and small, twisty town greeted me with open panettiere. And thus, I began my food journey. For breakfast? A hearty and nutritious pastry the size of my face covered in pistachio cream and made of flaky dough. People were definitely staring at me as I ate this because either a) it was only 10am or b) they were jealous. Probably the latter.
With pastry in hand, I wound my way up to the top of the town, where I found the most beautiful cemetery. It might sound strange that I entered and marveled at a cemetery of all places, but just look at the pictures. There were walls and walls of flowers and names stacked vertically. It was fantastic and felt very celebratory of the dead instead of the typical air of spookiness or sadness.
A little higher up, I rounded the mountain via a very long market. There were clothes, sunglasses, kitchenware, outdoor furniture, and of course…. Food. Fruit, bread, meat, cheese! Personally, I was drawn to the enormous vats of olives wherein my next snack lay. I put my stellar Italian to work (and by this I mean I spoke three words of Italian and hand gestured my way through the rest) and obtained the most delicious, salty, GREEN bag of olives. This is significant because for most of my life I have been a stanch believer in the black olive being the superior olive color.
Fast forward an hour or so and locate me taking a long awaited nap in the sand. This was positively glorious, as the water was clear and the air was HOT. I passed quite a few hours swimming, sunning, and reading—my ideal day.
For the rest of the afternoon, I continued my exploration of the town. I found a humorous store from that perhaps misused Google Translate, a few art studios, and a very large cathedral called Duomo, aka Cefalú Cathedral. (I didn't "find" this last one per se, as everything in the town violently thrusts you towards Duomo since it's the main point of tourism.)
The next stop on my food journey involved a very tasty encounter with granita—aka a … slushie mixed with gelato in the USA. "Italian ice" minus the mall food court. Highly recommend, especially when it’s too hot to eat real food.
All too soon, my day was coming to an end. I walked back to the train station and found the coolest rocky seashore to stroll and clamber through. It was all very Ariel. It was around this time that I realized the “train station” I was walking towards was in fact a bus depot. Did I really go somewhere alone if I didn’t get lost?
I did, however, quite easily (if not lengthily) find the train station. My food journey ends here, as I very contentedly sat on a closed ticket counter with buns, pesto, and prosciutto waiting for my delayed train.
In reflection, I preferred Santa Flavia to Cefalú only because the tourism situation was so much more elevated in Cefalu. But overall, it was a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.