Discovering the village of Castelmola
Castelmola is a village situated just above Taormina, on a rocky outcrop that offers a splendid landscape on the northern slope of Etna.
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.
The village, of just over 1000 inhabitants, over the centuries has had the good fortune to maintain the original layout.
Only the entrance has been modified to make room for the paved road. Initially this entrance was characterized by a stone staircase that culminated with the entrance door to the village, today still preserved in Piazza Sant’Antonio.
Of great interest is also the castle, which rises on the highest point of the whole village.
Already mentioned by Diodoro Siculo, the primitive structure of the castle was then strengthened under Roman rule. In fact, there is a marble plaque in Greek-Byzantine that says “this castle was built under Constantine, patrician and strategist of Sicily”.
The castle subsequently passed under the Arab rule of 902, then under the Normans in 1078 and finally under the Spanish dominion.
Of great value is the view that can be enjoyed from the square on the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna.
Not far from the village there is Monte Ziretto, a rather suggestive hill from whose summit you can enjoy a splendid view of the Peloritani Mountains looking to the North, the Ionian Sea looking to the East and to Castelmola and Taormina looking South / South-East.
See you soon to the next article, ciao!!
… To you
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