An unconventional Place where to lose your head – A museum

A place where to lose your head :a museum.

Mandralisca Museum in Cefalù. Place of relaxation and inspiration

Museo Mandralisca

Life is like a work of art. Nothing’s beautiful from same point of view. Photo @Angelo Chiello

What comes to mind when you think of a place where to lose your head on vacation? For sure not a museum .
Given that, the first thing that comes to mind are images of white beaches and crystal clear waters. Jewel – cities cradle of history and architecture of the past . Or breathtaking landscapes and unspoiled nature that catapult us into fairytale world.

beauty of Sicily

Look into nature and you’ll understand everything better
Photo @Giuseppe Parello   Location : Scala dei Turchi Agrigento

Surely there are indescribably beautiful places which  to fall in love with . But … as Renzo Piano says  : there is an other  place to lose your head . And this is a museum..  A museum??? Yes my dears ..

What does it mean to “lose your mind for a place”? ..
To begin with, the coolest thing  to say about the meaning of losing your head  in a place , is that,  in that place , we are more in touch with our heart and our freedom. This is the meaning.

Now.. there are times in life when stress takes hold of us and it’s difficult to decompress. Several people turn to yoga or meditation. Some others walk . Others  think about a vacation far  from daily life.
Specifically, a museum offers a quiete alternative to relax, by staring silently at beautiful works of art.
It contributes significantly to a tourist’s experience of visiting a destination. as a final point , it’s an interesting way to absorb “local colours” .

mandralisca Museum Cefalù

Fill your life with coulours and work of art
Photo @Angelo Chiello                                Location : Mandralisca Museum Cefalù

Around the world there are amazing museums .. and in Sicily we have many also beautiful ones. But today I want to write about an unexpected  and sparkling little jewel in a beautiful city. I’m talking about the  Mandralisca Museum  in the amazing Cefalù.

Mandralisca Museum immerses us in the world of Baron Enrico di Mandralisca, a passionate 19C collector. But it helps also us to enhance our local experience.

Mandralisca Museum is especially known for the magnificent portrait of “Ignoto marinaio”  (the Sicilian Gioconda) by Antonello da Messina.

ignoto Marinaio Antonello Da Messina

Beyond the smile
Ignoto Marinaio portrait by Antonello Da Messina     Location : Mandralisca Museum Cefalù

But , there is something for everybody in this cool museum .  “Browse”  through the different rooms of this “noble house”, to find out more about the meaningful part of Cefalu‘s identity.

A museum is the temple of memories but also the hope that we have for recovering our culture. Besides, it’s the unique keeper of the history and tradition of a territory . Visiting a city without visiting one of its museums , it’s equal to not have discovered the soul  of the city.

I agree to someone that wrote that a city that does not have a museum suffer from Alzheimer’s. Because it has no recollection of the past. So, come in Cefalù and visit Mandralisca Museum . It’s a place where to “ loose your head”.

Music room at Mandralisca Museum

Without music life will be a mistake
Photo @Aneglo Chiello                        Location : Mandralisca Museum Cefalù

The Museum has also a “pretty” library that worth talking about.  It’s a place that have a lot more to offer than just “reading material”. It’s a place where to think over.. About the importance  of a book in today’s world of instant knowledge.

What the new generation know about the magic and wonders of a book? Electronic devices are pulling children away from books. .. I would love to learn them how magic is  hold a book, flip through its pages,  smell the paper.. Dreaming through the words of the author.

Although I love modernity, books remain our prime weapon in the fight against illiteracy and important for our freedom. A book is an instrument of reflection and an important tool of education in all countries .. rich and poor.

Library of Mandralisca Museum in cefalù

I have always imagined paradise as a kind of library ” (Jorge Luis Borges)
Photo @Angelo Chiello                  Location : Mandralisca Museum Cefalù

A visit in a museum can create more happiness than material goods. Looking at each work of art opens a doorway into the artist’s soul.. But it permits us , also , to relax and enjoy the beauty of art.

Art is more than what meets eyes.  Art is a wonderful mean to recharge ourself , get inspired, and let the creative of the artist flood us . Contemplating the meaning of a work of art , you can reflect on yourself, find also peace and tranquillity.

Behind a glass at a museum

Use a glass mirror to look at your face and use works of art to look at your soul.
(George Bernard Shaw)
Photo @Angelo Chiello             Location : Mandralisca Museum Cefalù

I want to remember you that Mandralisca Museum  is in one of the most charming cities of Sicily : Cefalù.

So, if you don’t know it, imagine now a beautiful, historic town in the shadow of a spectacular mountain called “Rocca” that dominates the city. Lying along an enchanting coast, with a wonderful views. From where you can enjoy a fantastic food that tastes  of sea and mountains (The Madonie Park ).

And then, the picturesque port “il molo” from which it can be observed part of the walls of the city. With the arches that form the shelter for small fishing boats . And the houses that overlook the beach. Beautiful and romantic scenery typical of a seaside town.

A sunset in Cefalù

Meet me where the sky touches the sea
Photo @Silvio Ciolino                  Location : Cefalù

All this is CEFALU’, “pearl of Sicily” and  charming and picturesque town . With its romantic Old Town at the end of which stands the magnificent Cathedral Arab-Norman (declared  UNESCO’s site) . Its precious  Byzantines mosaics  on which stands the gigantic Christ Pantocrator (chosen for its beauty as Icon of the year of the Faith during 2013).

Cathedral of Cefalù

The wonders of a Unesco site . Irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration
Photo @Giuseppe Terrasi                 Location : Cattedrale Cefalù

In other words, it’s always a pleasure to take a slow walk along the little cobblestone streets of Cefalù.

With this in mind, I suggest to  arrive to the Mandralisca Museum Cefalù  through an itinerary  among monuments and misterious lanes.
Furthermore, admire monuments  of great historical, artistic and cultural value.  Lost yourself in the alleyways. Remain  ecstatic in front of arcades and  beautiful scenaries .

Indeed, you can find all this in this city.   Here, everything speak of an ages-old past. And the city stands almost as a permanent expo, where you can admire nature’s unique work combined with the genius of the human mind.

Around Cefalù

They will say that you go on a wrong path, and you keep walking.
Photo @Angelo Chiello                                       Location : Alleys of Cefalù

To sum up, a museum helps fuel your experience of knowing a country .. I call it experiential tourism . About that, read my article on relational and experiential tourism in Sicily. Click on the following link

And don’t forget .. When in vacation , go visiting a museum .. And it will be amazing loosing your head

About the Author:

I’m Angela and I was born and bred some years in Novara ( Piemonte). Then my parents decided to get back to Sicily and I grew up on a small mountain village in the Madonie park : Polizzi Generosa . Nothing incredibly exciting happened there and for this reason I decided to move in an other city where I live happily: Cefalù . A beautiful medieval town, included in the World Heritage List in 2015 I was a smart girl in school and I loved to learn . I like music and books , animals , dance and most of all to know people and get in touch with the real soul of a place. I also love photography , gelato and writing . And naturally I like to travel and everything it’s in between.


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