Castelmola is a small beautiful village set on a rocky ridge above Taormina. Given the shape of the rock on which it rests, similar to a molar or better a grindstone, we like to think that the name derives from a castle on the abbreviated molar Castelmola.

castelmola foto taobook

Almost as ancient as Taormina, it is thought to have been a further defensive retreat on a hill even more difficult to conquer. Located at 300m above sea level it is possible to see la valle d’agrò, on the Messina side and the Etna side, until Catania, on south side. Reachable with the sp 10.

There are not so many monuments to visit but there is so much to live it in an atmosphere different from that of Taormina. Beautiful are all the internal streets that rise and fall to reach the various houses. The cathedral and its front square represent a place to spend some time. The hypotheses on its origins, beyond that of retrofronte of Taormina, are uncertain. There is historical information connected with the various events that took place over the centuries in Taormina. Considering the Castle as a starting point and espousing the hypothesis of most historians, which it was built around the 1300s to secure the area from attacks by the various conquerors on duty as well as from nearby Taormina, we can trace a timeline on the expansion of the town of Castelmola. In fact the inhabited nucleus develops all under the Castle where the conformation of the ground allowed it. The rising of the churches then amplified the expansion of the village around them. The plant has a medieval character with narrow streets that wind and intertwine without any urban planning logic but only expansive where possible. In chronological order of construction starting from before the year 1000 are: Church of San Biagio, Chiesa dell’Annunziata, Chiesa San Giorgio and the Duomo. The first two are outside the walls of the Borgo. Castelmola has an elevated position compared to Taormina and from it it is possible to see the Messina and Catanese sides as well as having a point of  overview on Taormina. Piazza S. Antonio and the one in front of the Duomo are among the most panoramic. To capture the charm of Castelmola you have to go around all the ways of it without excluding anything.