Province of Messina

The charming village of Castelmola was considered the ancient Taormina’s acropolis.

Castelmola has ancient origins dating back to the Greek period. It used to be Taormina’s acropolis, probably because of its position, which was higher than the surrounding villages. For this reason, the histories of this two cities have always been entwined. The first settlement was called Mylai, and it was founded by the Siculi in the Iron Age (8th century BC). The existence of this settlement has been proved by the findings of the necropolis of Cocolonazzo, where the particular style of the ceramics allowed the experts to determine when the town was built.

At first conquered by Greeks and afterwards by Saracens, this small town still preserves the traditions of these populations creating an interesting mix of customs and traditions. The most important monuments of the village are:

the Piazza Sant’Antonio, built in 1954, is one of the main squares of the  town from which it is possible to admire a wonderful panoramic view of Taormina. The square has a wonderful mosaic made with white and black igneous stone, surrounded by tree-lined sidewalks; the Castle was built in the Norman period and today you can visit only its ruins. The castle’s area is very evocative, and gives intense emotions to its visitors thanks to its ancient atmosphere which becomes very fascinating during the theatre shows that take place among its ruins;

the Cathedral is the Mother Church of Castelmola, built between 1934 and 1935, is dedicated to Saint Nicola di Bari. It was built using many different architectural styles: Romanic, Gothic, Arabic, Norman. It is located on an extraordinary panoramic viewpoint from which it is possible to see Mount Etna dominating the Gulf of Naxos; the Saint George’s Church was built in 1450 with a very simple style including one nave and a charming chapel; the Saint Biagio’s Church is the first church ever built in Castelmola. Since it was built on a big rock, it offers an extraordinary view of Mount Etna, the Gulf of Naxos and Taormina; the Church of the Annunziata was built by Roger the Norman in 1100 to honour the Virgin who helped him to defeat Saracens;

the Ancient Arch, built in 900 BC, has a Greek-Roman origin. The arch was located near the Door of Mola, considered the town’s main entrance; the Saint Anthony’s Church has all the main characteristics of Southern Italy’s sacred architecture. The church was built between the 15th and 16th century. Today it is used as an Auditorium to host many important cultural events;

the Saracens’ Door marks the limit of the old town of Mylai. The door was a necessary passage point for those who travelled along the road of Piano delle Ficare, which lead to the nearby necropolis of Cocolonazzo and to Taormina.

People live here:


Typical food:

Homemade bread

Almond wine



The “cuddure” (typical Easter cake)

The macaroni

Almonds “ghiazzate” or sugary

Dried figs with walnuts


Festa da cuddura cu l’ova, typical products and crafts festival

Almond Festival, food festival

Fest of San Giorgio(23/04) holy festivity

Lady Chatterley’s lover: the village and its natural environment inspired the writer D.H.Lawrence


How to get there:

By Car:

From Messina

Get on A18 Messina-Catania, exit Taormina and continue to Castelmola

By Train:

Taormina-Giardini Naxos Station

By Plane:

International Fontanarossa Airport of Catania

By Bus:

Bus line Taormina- Castelmola


Hotel Villa Sonia 4 *

B&B Villa Pace 3 *

Hotel Medievale

Apartments Finestra sul Mare

Holiday House The Lemon Tree


Bar San Giorgio

Trattoria Chicchirichi

La Taverna dell’Etna

Pizzeria Nina

Via Tutti I Santi, Castelmola ME

Ph. +39 0942 28228

Trattoria Il Vicolo

Ciccino’s Pizzeria 

Piazza Duomo, 98030 Castelmola ME

Ph. +39 0942 28081

Pizzeria Menta e Peoperoncino

Piazza Duomo, 98030 Castelmola, Sicilia, Italia

Ph. +39 094228102

Ristorante Gallo Cedrone

Via A. De Gasperi, 34, Castelmola, Sicily, Italy

Ph. +39 0942 632045



Letojanni beach

Isola bella beach

Giardinni Naxos beach

Recanati beach

Capo Schisó

Nearby Towns in Messina
Previous Town
Next Town