Castelmola is a medieval village far 3-5 km from Taormina. The name derives not only from the remains of its magnificent castle but also from the shape of the village, which is similar to a wheel or a millstone. This scenic village floats 529 metres above the sea level.
TIP: I do not recommend to go walking cause there are about 90 minutes by foot and in summer it is very hot. However, if you are sporty, if you love hiking and if you are also a bit masochistic, leave for this venture but well equipped 😉
The Sant’Antonino Square is the panoramic viewpoint of this magical place, characterized by narrow streets and paths that intersect each other. Here you will find the Caffè S. Giorgio, founded in 1700 by the monks of the convent. You can taste the famous almond wine whose inventor is Don Vincenzo Blandano, founder of the Caffè. The wine is made with almonds and essence of oranges.
From the square, there is a staircase that lead you on the highest part of the village where there are the ruins of the medieval castle (whose admission is free). The view is breathtaking. The Ioanian coast and Mount Etna all together. Of course you can also admire the beautiful Taormina from above.
TIP: If you arrive by car you can park in one of the many areas for a fee or in the parking lot with the white line, which are free if you have the pass. Ask the hotel where you stay. Often they give it to you.
This charming medieval village is also known for the Bar Turrisi, located in Piazza Duomo. The feature of this bar is in the “shapes”. As soon as you enter, you will realize to be completely surrounded by “phalli”. Almost everything has a shape of a phallus: menu, door handles, statues around you, bottles. Do not you see it in a vulgar manner. Actually, the owner wanted to expose the greek symbol of fertility and good fortune. Of course, given the enormous quantity, the good fortune will be your friend for the entire evening and more 😉
CURIOSITY: Have you ever read Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence? Well, the novel is about Lady Chatterley’s sexuality. And the scenery of her erotism is Castelmola!
The prices are lower than the nearby Taormina. So, Castelmola could be a good alternative for dinner. I must inform you that often there are held falconry among the ruins of the castle. You will feel catapulted into the medieval history!