Category Archives: Province of Messina

Discovering the village of Castelmola

MircoMannino/ September 8, 2019/ Borghi più belli d'Italia, Castelmola, Province of Messina/ 0 comments

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.

Taormina, years after the Grand Tour

MircoMannino/ September 1, 2019/ Province of Messina, Taormina/ 0 comments

Taormina was officially founded in 395 BC by the exiles and survivors of the colony of Naxos.
The historical picture is the following: the colonists of Naxos, allied with Athens, clashed against Syracuse, an ally of Sparta, in a battle that ended with the heavy defeat of Naxos in 403 BC.
Dionisio I, tyrant of Syracuse, was implacable: the colony was destroyed and the survivors sold as slaves. The exiles who managed to escape the trafficking took refuge on Mount Tauro where groups of Sicilians lived practicing herding. In this area, around 395 BC, the city of Tauromenium was founded, whose name is inspired by the shape of the mountain on which it lies, with a vague form of a bull.

Naxos

MircoMannino/ August 17, 2019/ Giardini Naxos, Province of Messina/ 0 comments

Naxos was founded in 735 – 734 BC from the settlers from Calcide Eubea and the island of Naxos respectively – today’s Nasso – from which the colony takes its name.
A few years later, around 729 BCE, the same settlers who founded Naxos founded Katane (today’s Catania) and Leontinoi (today’s Lentini).
The foundation of Naxos takes place almost simultaneously with that of Syracuse, which took place between 734 and 733 BC. However, it is claimed that the first Greek colony to have been founded in Sicily is precisely that of Naxos.