From the belvedere of Piazza Sant'Antonio to the Duomo, passing through the folkloristic Bar Turrisi: what to see in Castelmola, a village near Taormina.
Perched on the boulder that soars above Taormina,Castelmolais a small village in theSicilywhich seems to have remained immune to the passage of time. In fact, among the small and narrow streets that wind through the town, there is an air of calm tranquility and ancient light-heartedness.
Due to its beauty, Castelmola has been included in the circuit of the "Most Beautiful Villages in Italy" and is one of the six located in the province ofMessina(withMontalbano Helicon, San Marco d'Alunzio, Castroreale,Savocaand Novara of Sicily).
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The name of Castelmola derives from the Sicilian "a mola" and indicates the particular shape of the rock on which it stands which, in fact, resembles that of a tooth. Its history is intertwined with that of nearby Taormina and has its roots in the pre-Hellenic period.
If you are organizing an on the road itinerary in the eastern part of Sicily, Castelmola - together with Taormina - certainly cannot be missed among your stops. In this article I leave you all the information on the main things to see in Castelmola, how to get there and which attractions not to be missed in its surroundings.
What to see in Castelmola
To visit the small village of Castelmola you will need one/two hours on foot. The natural entrance to the village is characterized by theviewpoint in Piazza Sant'Antonio, from which it is possible to admire the panorama overlooking Taormina and the Ionian strip of the province of Messina, up to the slopes of Catania. On the large square overlooks theAncient Roman Arch, placed on top of a limestone staircase, which once represented the entrance to the Castle.
Continuing along via Corita di Mola, in fact, we reach theCastle– among the main things to see in the village. It is an ancient defensive fortification of the Pelorita chain which, once upon a time, also included the nearby fortress of Taormina. Currently the Castle of Mola houses theMuseum of the Sicilian Middle Agesand is home to the "Falconry", an ancient Sicilian hunting art.
Among the main things to see in Castelmola the picturesque churches stand out, including the small oneschurches of San Giorgio and San Biagio, and the Cathedral of San Nicola di Bariin the square of the same name. With a style that recalls Gothic, Arab and Norman, the Mother Church has a main entrance with a pointed arch, an interior with a single nave and a circular apse. From its external terrace it is possible to admire a splendid panorama overlooking Etna and the gulf of Naxos.
Among the most folkloristic places of Castelmola, theBar Turrisiin Piazza Duomo it deserves a place of honour. It is a real tourist attraction whose fame is linked to the phallic element that characterizes the entire environment, from the stairs to the tables, from the chairs to the chandeliers, from the menus to the toilets. A real "must" for anyone who decides to stop for a few hours in Castelmola and taste its typical products such as almond wine (dry white wine flavored with bitter almonds, herbs, citrus essences, zibibbo and caramel) or piparelli (biscuits with almonds crunchy, betweenbest 15 things to eat in Sicily).
How to get to Castelmola
Castelmola rises in the province of Messina, about 6 km from Taormina. The easiest way to reach the village is themachine (or bus from the Interbus Terminal of Taormina – about 15 minutes, cost 1.90 euros per ticket):
From Messina(about 36 km): via the A18 motorway, exit Taormina;
From Catania(about 46 km): via the A18 motorway, exit Taormina;
From Palermo(about 270 km): via the A19 and A18 motorways;
From Syracuse(about 122 km): via the E45 and A18 motorways, exit at Taormina.
What to see around Castelmola
If you are organizing an on the road among the main attractions of the Ionian area of Sicily, know that in the surroundings of Castelmola there are several things to put on your list. First of all, Taormina (6 km) and Isola Bella (10 km) with the Mazzarò area, a short distance from the village. Not far away they ariseGiardini-Naxos– with the Archaeological Park – eLetojanni, with its wonderful white sand beaches.
Savoca, one of the most beautiful villages in Italyas well as the famous location of the film "The Godfather", it is located 25 kilometers away from Castelmola and can be reached in about 30 minutes by car. If you have some time on your hands, I also recommend a visit toForza d'Agro and Castiglione of Sicily, in the hinterland of Catania, also among the most beautiful villages in the Belpaese.