Museo Mandralisca


This small, privately owned museum showcases a collection amassed by parliamentarian, archaeologist and natural-history buff, Baron Mandralisca (1809–64). The rather faded displays of Greek ceramics and Arab pottery are of marginal interest compared to Antonello da Messina's splendid Ritratto di un uomo ignoto (Portrait of an Unknown Man; 1465), considered one of the most distinctive portraits of the Italian Renaissance.

Acquired by the Baron after he discovered it being used as a makeshift cupboard door in Lipari, da Messina's painting depicts a man with an enigmatic smirk, almost as captivating and thought provoking as the Mona Lisa's – albeit without the attendant hype.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cefalù attractions

1. Lavatoio

0.07 MILES

Descend the curving stone steps to this picturesque cluster of 16th-century wash basins, built over a spring that was well known in antiquity.

2. Bastione Capo Marchiafava


For fabulous sea views in the heart of Cefalù, make your way to this 17th-century fortification, off Via Bordonaro. Crowds gather here to watch the sunset…

3. Duomo di Cefalù

0.14 MILES

Cefalù's cathedral is one of the jewels in Sicily's Arab-Norman crown, only equalled in magnificence by the Cattedrale di Monreale and Palermo's Cappella…

4. Salita Saraceni

0.16 MILES

An enormous staircase, the Salita Saraceni, winds up through three tiers of city walls in a 30- to 45-minute climb to the summit of La Rocca. From here…

5. Tempio di Diana

0.22 MILES

Built of massive limestone blocks quarried directly from the mountainside, the megalithic Tempio di Diana dates back to the 4th or 5th century BC. On the…

6. Il Castello

0.42 MILES

Apart from a few loose rocks and low crenellated walls, there is nothing left of Il Castello, a Norman castle built atop the old Arab citadel that once…

7. Spiaggia di Cefalù

0.44 MILES

Cefalù's crescent-shaped beach is one of the most popular along the whole Sicilian coast. In summer it is packed, so be sure to arrive early to get a good…

8. Santuario di Gibilmanna

3.63 MILES

Sicilians regularly make pilgrimages to pray at this elaborately decorated baroque shrine to the Virgin Mary. During the church's consecration on 17…