Updated May 2018. Since the 1860’s when the german artist Otto Geleng painted Ampitheatre at Taormina, encompassing the view of the Bay of Naxos and Mt. Etna, Taormina has been the star of Sicily. The cute hilltop village of Castelmola, a further 1km up Monte Tauro from Taormina, has no such fame, but it does have quaint piazzas and fantastic views over the Mediterranean, Mt. Etna and Taormina.
Castelmola is a beautiful village in it’s own right and with a relaxed vibe. You can read more about what makes Taormina a Sicilian Treasure here.
Tiny Castelmola can be reached on foot in an hour or by an hourly Interbus or taxi.
The road to Castelmola.
In early May, a two hour gap in the bus timetable around lunch time, left us with time to spare. If this happens you might like to consider lunch in a Castelmola restaurant to while away some time.
Remember the crowds of Taormina? They’re not here at the Castelmola restaurants in the piazza…
Church of San Nicolo di Bari
Nearby is the Church of San Nicolo di Bari, with a courtyard wedged between a drop off and the front door of the church. This courtyard has fabulous views overlooking the ocean. Step inside through the side door – it’s so quiet and meditative in there.
Address: Piazza Chiesa Madre 8 , 98030 Castelmola, Sicily, Italy
Budget Mini-Mart Lunch
The local mini-mart man makes rolls to order with quality ham, salami, cheese and tasty tomatoes – a great budget option. There are no signs indicating that he does this so just ask at the Deli counter.
Address: Via Alcide de Gasperi, 22, Castelmola
Castelo di Mola, Castelmola
A short walk to a ruined castle above the village is a necessity and the gardens are the perfect picnic spot. Although first fortified by the Byzantines in 800AD the current ruins are from the 16th Century.
The flowers are sublime in Spring, in the wild Sicilian way.
Views from Castelmola
As well as the views below, don’t forget the fantastic views from Pizzeria Nina, the Church of San Nicoli di Bari and from Castelo di Mola above.
View from the Castello toward Taormina Sicily Italy.
View toward Giardini-Naxos and the Bay of Naxos.
We arrived back in town after visiting the castello, with time to spare before the next bus departed, so took advantage of the time to explore the backstreets. I was pleased we had this free time as you really get to know a place in this way.
Bar Turrisi Castelmola
A great terrace on top with view of the Cathedral. Known for it’s collection of Penis decor, Cassata and Almond wine!
Away from the shops a sign leads to a Castelmola Pizzeria restaurant.
Try Pizzeria Nina in the square where the Taormina to Castelmola bus arrives. It has a grand view over the Mediterranean from the terrace and I’ve heard the pizza is good. If however you are only eating there for the view make sure you are able to sit on the terrace before ordering.
The laneways of Castelmola Sicily, where cats rule.
Allow time to visit Castelmola
Be sure when you visit the Taormina, the Star of Sicily, to spend an hour or so in the delightful village of Castelmola. You won’t regret it.
Thanks for visiting, I really appreciate it and would love you to add your travel post to the link below for Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday which I co-host with Ruth from Tanama Tales and Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations.