Castelmola is a very small village of about 1,000 inhabitants, perched in a mountain overlooking the beautiful Taormina . This small village manages to truly offer wonderful views. In the past, however, rather than observing the view, it was thought to check that no enemy ships arrived from the coasts. In fact, Castelmola was born as a stronghold , with the aim of protecting Taormina from possible external attacks. The first inhabitants date back to the Iron Age in the 8th century BC and it was inhabited by many populations such as Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans .

Tip from Topsecretsicily: Here you will find several guided excursions to Castelmola and the wonderful surroundings.

Let’s find out now what to see in Castelmola.

1. Path of the Saracens

Church of San Biagio, Path of the Saracens, Castelmola / Taormina
Panorama from the church of San Biagio
Andy Bryant – The view from Castelmola

You can decide whether to reach Castelmola by car or on foot, along an ancient path, the same that the Arabs traveled over 1000 years ago to conquer it. In the summer it is quite tiring, given the high temperatures, so if you decide to do it, bring water with you and protect yourself from the scorching sun. The route is uphill and it takes about 3 quarters of an hour before reaching the goal, but the effort will surely be rewarded.

On the way you will pass between prickly pears, almond trees and olive trees and you will enjoy a wonderful view of Etna, Taormina and the sea. At a certain point you will pass under an ancient gate, the entrance to the fortress of Castelmola. Today it is called Porta dei Saraceni, as as previously written, the Arabs crossed it to arrive and conquer the city. Continuing the route you will reach at a certain point the small church of San Biagio which dates back to the 1st century AD and is the oldest in Castelmola. Its interior is practically empty, but it overlooks a beautiful panoramic square. Now you will only have to continue for another 5 minutes and you will arrive at your destination.

2. Piazza S.Antonio

Piazza S. Antonio / Belvedere, Castelmola
© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 4.0
Castelmola
© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro CC BY-SA 4.0
View from the Piazza di S.Antonio / Belvedere of Castelmola
View from the square © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro CC BY-SA 4.0

Piazza S.Antonio is very characteristic and offers a breathtaking panorama . From here, in fact, you can admire Taormina from above, the hills and the sea on the horizon. On the square there is an ancient church dedicated to the saint (today an auditorium) and the historic Caffè San Giorgio which was opened even in the 18th century and famous for its almond wine, a typical product of Castelmola.

3. The castle and churches

Panorama from the castle of Castelmola
View from the Castle – Effems CC BY SA 4.0
Castelmola Castle
Effems , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
View from Castelmola Castle
Another view from the castle – Effems , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Path to the Castle of Castelmola
Eleroja , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Castelmola Castle
Effems CC BY SA 4.0
Castelmola Castle
Eleroja , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Castelmola Castle
Effems , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Castelmola Castle
Effems , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Castelmola Castle
© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro CC BY-SA 4.0

The castle it was built around the 11th century with the aim of protecting Taormina. Today only a few ruins remain, but the real beauty of this place is the view over Etna, Taormina and the sea. It can be reached by going up a path that starts from the square of S. Antonio.

Hours: Mon-Sun: 09-23. Ticket: Free. Times and fares may change.

Also worth visiting is the church of San Nicolò di Bari, built around 1930 is nothing special, but is located in a very characteristic square and has a beautiful panoramic square. Also worth a visit is the church of San Giorgio (17th century) which is located in a small suggestive corner.

Activities loved by tourists in the surrounding area or in Sicily in general

Interactive map of Castelmola – Points of interest in purple

To locate yourself once in the area, click on the enlarge symbol at the top right of the map.

Typical products of Castelmola

The typical product par excellence is the almond wine that you can try in the San Giorgio bar, invented by the monks around 1700. The homemade bread is also very good. More tips on what to eat in the province there find here . Here you find the typical Sicilian dishes .

What to see in the surroundings

Castelmola is located in the province of Messina. Here you will find listed the places to visit in Messina and surroundings .