The church of the Madonna della Rocca, dating back to the XII century and restored in 1600, stands on a small mountain overlooking Taormina from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view.
Its name derives from its location and the way it was built. In fact it stands on the Rocca overlooking Taormina and was built partly in masonry and most of it carved into the rock.
No architectural style or shape can be attributed to it. It was born extemporaneously after events that occurred in the past. Legend has it that a shepherd boy to take shelter from the strong storm entered a small cave in the position of the current church. In the glow of the lightning he saw a lady in a niche with a child in her arms.
Overwhelmed by the frightened, and heedless of the fact that he had sheep with him, he fled to the country. The next day in the company of his parents he went to the place to satisfy his curiosity. The astonishment was enormous when he, inside the niche, he saw instead of the two human figures the painting representing the scene seen the night before.
The time was right for such an event to become a miracle. In the months to come the place became a city pilgrimage destination and in the years to come the community felt the need to erect a place of worship.
Thus was born the first plant of the current Church. Its official dating as a church dates back to 1640 by the priest Francesco Raineri from Taormina. The entrance to the church takes place from a small square overlooking Taormina.
Upon entering you immediately notice the rock ceiling which gives the room a mystical aspect.
The main entrance takes place sideways to the main altar. In fact it is on the left and on it there is a shrine carved into the rock.
In front of the main altar there is a secondary one above which there is a painting. The two altars are made of inlaid polychrome marble with friezes and low reliefs. The part of the church carved into the rock and the part built in masonry are separated by pointed arches.
Over the years the original building was enlarged thus creating the sacristy and some very small supporting buildings. The position it occupies is one of the most beautiful and panoramic in Taormina. From its square it is possible to admire Taormina in its most important parts. Greek Theater, Piazza IX Aprile, Clock Tower and much more are almost at hand.
The church is connected to the town through an ancient path dating back to the times of the Greeks called Salita Castello or via Crucis.
The latter name was given to it due to the elevated position that the church has with respect to the town so that the climb can be compared to the road that the Lord traveled to reach the mountain where he was crucified. Along the staircase there are all 12 stations of the cross on bronze tables.