Castelmola, the belvedere above Taormina

A natural balcony above Taormina, Castelmola is a small village located on the top of a crown floating 529 metres above the sea level. The name derives from the Norman castle dominating over the town centre, but also from the shape of the rock on which it stands, which vaguely resembles to a millstone (in italian “mola”). With its medieval alleys, the splendid colors of the houses hung between sky and sea, the mountain behind it and the sea in front of it, the village is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Its origins date back to the pre-Hellenic period. In ancient times, it was the acropolis of Taormina, maybe for its overhead position. Their historical events are strictly related. This charming village offers to visitors a breathtaking view; from this point, in fact, you can see, among a myriad of prickly pear cactus, the majestic Mt. Etna with towns clinging to its slopes, the Ionian coast, the gulf of Giardini-Naxos, the straits of Messina and the Calabrian coast.

To see

Sant’Antonio Square – It is the panoramic viewpoint of this magical place, characterized by narrow streets and paths that intersect each other. It houses the small church of Sant’Antonio, recently transformed into a municipal auditorium.

Mother Church – It was redone in 1934 over the preceding Romanesque and Gothic styles. Inside there are four marble altars set facing each other, a handsome pulpit, and a wooden statue of Mary Magdalene by the Bagnasco school.

Castle – The imposing Norman walls are all that remain of the castle-fortress. A marble plaque on the façade of the cathedral century states: “This Castle was built under Constantine, patrician and strategos of Sicily.” It probably refers to Constantine Caramalo, the last strategos of Taormina, who in the ninth century prepared the defense against the Arabs.

Church of San Giorgio – Built around 1450, it is a simple and humble church. The barrel vault and the façades are the result of recent restoration work.

Via dei Saraceni – Along the promenade, it is possible to ammirate the water tanks dating back to 367 before Christ, and the ancient Porta Saraceni.

To taste

WineCastelmola is the land of almond wine, a white wine with essence of oranges

Homemade macaroni

Dried figs

Almonds with sugar

CuddureEaster “doughnuts” made with egg

To enjoy

Festival of San GiorgioIt is the celebration dedicated to the patron saint of the village, it takes place every year on 23th April.

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