Cefalù (Italian pronunciation: [tʃefaˈlu]; Sicilian: Cifalù; Greek: Κεφαλοίδιον Kephaloídion, Diod., Strabo, or Κεφαλοιδίς Kephaloidís, Ptol.; Latin: Cephaloedium, or Cephaloedis, Pliny) is a city and comune in the Province of Palermo, located on the northern coast of Sicily, Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea about 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the provincial capital and 185 kilometres (115 mi) west of Messina. The town, with its population of just under 14,000, is one of the major tourist attractions in the region. Despite its size, every year it attracts millions of tourists from all parts of Sicily and also, from all over Italy and Europe.
The Cathedral, begun in 1131, in a style of Norman architecture which would be more accurately called Sicilian Romanesque. The exterior is well preserved, and is largely decorated with interlacing pointed arches; the windows also are pointed. On each side of the façade is a massive tower of four storeys. The round-headed Norman portal is worthy of note. A semi-circular apse is set into the east end wall. Its strengthening counterforts that work like buttresses, are shaped as paired columns to lighten their aspect. The groined vaulting of the roof is visible in the choir and the right transept, while the rest of the church has a wooden roof. Fine cloisters, coeval with the cathedral, adjoin it.
The interior of the cathedral was restored in 1559, though the pointed arches of the nave, borne by ancient granite columns, are still visible; and the only mosaics preserved are those of the apse and the last bay of the choir; they are remarkably fine specimens of the Byzantine art of the period (1148) and, though restored in 1859–62, have suffered much less than those at Palermo and Monreale from the process. The figure of the Pantocrator gracing the apse is especially noteworthy.