Campofelice di Roccella Hotels
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Visit Campofelice di Roccella
Campofelice di Roccella is on the northern coast of Sicily, between Termini Imerese and Cefalu. Because of its proximity to the sea and a very long beach, it has many amenities for tourists and is a popular summer destination.
Among the most significant monuments in Campofelice di Roccella are the Mother Church in the Piazza Garibaldi, and of course the castle.
The Mother Church was built by the Prince of Roccella Don Gaspare La Grutta in the early 18th century and dedicated to “Santa Rosalia", then restored in the mid-19th and late 20th centuries. From the architectural point of view, the Mother Church has a front intersected by pilasters and two bell towers.
The interior lighting is provided by a large rectangular window above the door. Inside the church has a nave and holds a wooden crucifix from the 17th century. Also in the various chapels you can see wooden statues representing the Virgin, Christ, San Jose, Santa Rosalia, Saint Lucia, and an 18th century "Annunciation".
Castle of Campofelice di Roccella
The castle stands on a rock overlooking in part the sea. Studies have shown that the castle tower, still visible today, dates from the early origins of the castle in the 14th century. Built with materials from western Sicily it consists of a tower and a rectangular building.
The original castle structure
Our understanding of the original castle structure is possible thanks to some 16th century watercolors by Tiburzio Spannocchi and Canillo Camilliani, showing the castle still intact.
The painrtings show that the castle had three floors, while the village below the tower consisted of houses with roof tiles and enclosed by walls directly connected to the castle. The castle complex was supplied with water by an aqueduct with arches, represented by Camilliani and still partially preserved.
The castle today
The tower has survived essentially intact, while the Palace was destroyed and only a part of the floor remains. The large Tower of Roccella copies the style of Norman donjons, but also has many characteristics similar to other 14th century such as those of Cefalà and Bonifato.
The large tower has a rectangular base and a height of 20 meters, with walls three metres thick. Inside, the ground floor consists of a single rectangular room covered by a barrel vault reinforced by a central ogival arch.
Himera, ruined ancient Greek city
In the area around Campofelice di Roccella, towards Bonfornello, you can visit the ruins of Himera, a Greek city destroyed in 409 BC by the Carthaginians. The foundation of the city, according to Diodorus (1st century BC), occurred 240 years before its destruction, in 648 BC.
You can still see the Temple of Victory (5th century BC), which has been carefully studied by specialists and has similarities with the Temple of Athena at Syracuse. It was probably built in the years following the victory of Himera against the Carthaginians in 480 BC.
The temple was erected near the place where the battle took place both to commemorate the victory and to celebrate the alliance between Himera and Syracuse, and was probably dedicated to the goddess Athena. The temple is a 'Doric peripteral hexastyle' type with many columns and was once fitted with a great deal of sculptural decoration
One of the decorations is a lion's head sculpture that can be seen today in the Museum of the Antiquarium, which contains the most remarkable finds such as ornaments, vases, coins found in excavations of Himera and other sites in the territory of Sicily.
Roccella Beach and scenery
As well as ancient monuments it is of course the beach that is the main attraction at Campofelice di Roccella - the beach extends from the “Capo Plaja” to the mouth of the Imera River, a distance of about 20 kilometres - and also the hinterland which is rich in nature and mountains.
It is also here in the countryside that the discerning tourist can discover the local food heritage, especially in the production of citrus fruits, tomatoes, artichokes, olives and vegetables, and in local specialties such as the biscuits of “San Martino”, the “Caponata” and stuffed “Pandoro.”
See also Roccella history and etymology.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Sicily guide.