The village has very ancient origins, it is thought that this area had been inhabited by the Sicilians or Sicans. Subsequently it was invaded by the Greeks, after the foundation of Naxos of 734 BC. The village thus follows the history of the whole of Sicily: it was dominated by the Romans, the Arabs and the Normans, until it was part of the kingdom of Aragon. It was under the Aragonese domination that the village changed its name from Castel Leone to Castiglione di Sicilia.
Although the name may mislead, this country has nothing to share with Novara located in Piedmont. The name, in fact, has undergone several changes throughout the history: from Noa (Sicani) to Novalia (Roman), from Nuah (Arabi) to Nocaria (Normanni) and finally Novara 🙂 It was then added “di Sicilia” to differentiate it from the Novara of Northern Italy.
Initially called Mylai by the Sicilians, Castelmola was conquered after several attempts by the Greeks of Syracuse commanded by Dionisio I, the same tyrant who destroyed the Calcidese colony of Naxos in 403 BC.
After the Greeks the village suffered the same fate of the whole island of Sicily: it was dominated by the Byzantines after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, after which by the Arabs in 902, by the Normans, under Ruggero the Norman, in 1078 and subsequently by the Angevins and the Aragonese.
It was with the Roman domination that the name changed from Mylai to Mola (from the Latin mill) and then into Castelmola (Castrum Molae -> Castelmola), due to the presence of a castle (castrum) erected initially by the Sicilians and then re-adapted by the Romans.
Hi nice people!
My gastronomic itinerary on the province of Ragusa continues, albeit in small steps!
Are you curious to find out what’s so interesting to eat in the beautiful Monterosso?
Well, make yourself comfortable then and let’s find out together!
Inserted in the list of the Borghi più belli d’Italia, Monterosso is the northernmost municipality of the province of Ragusa, located on the Iblei Mountains and not far from the respective summit: Monte Lauro, 987 meters high.