Campofelice di Roccella, Sicily: travel guide for the coastal resort at Campofelice

Photo of Campofelice di Roccella (Sicily region)

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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.

Explore Campofelice

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.

See also:

Map of Campofelice di Roccella and places to visit

Places to visit near Campofelice di Roccella

Cefalu

Cefalu

Cefalu is one of the main tourist destinations of Sicily. The pretty seaside town is an important artistic and historic centre.

Cefalu guide

Cefalu Cathedral

Cefalu Cathedral

Cefalu cathedral is a beautiful building with a fortress-like style.

Cefalu Cathedral guide

Termini Imerese

Termini Imerese

Termini is an important historical town with ancient ruins and buildings from the Middle Ages and beyond.

Termini Imerese guide

Caltavuturo

Caltavuturo

Caltavuturo cathedral holds some important artistic works.

Caltavuturo guide

Trabia

Trabia

Trabia is a working town with a fortress and several churches to visit.

Trabia guide

Polizzi

Polizzi

Admire the views from the small town of Polizzi.

Polizzi guide