The castles of Sicily: discover the fortified citadel of Milazzo

castles of Sicily: castello di Milazzo

The peninsula of Milazzo, near Messina, looks towards Aeolian Islands and has always been an important commercial port. For this reason, the ancient Greeks and ancient Romans sensed that it had a great strategic value. And that is where the castle of Milazzo rises, new leg of the tour to discover the castles of Sicily.

 

Its history

  • The first rudimentary fortifications date back to Neolithic, built about 4 thousand years ago.
  • The first Greek settlers arrived in the VIII-VII century BC and enlarged the previous settlement. The Acropolis grew and grew until it became a castrum in Roman-Byzantine period.
  • The first, real nucleus of the castle was built by the Arabs who, after 843, built fortifications on previous Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins.
  • In later centuries, Normans, Swabians, Aragonese and Spanish enlarged the castle more and more until it became a real fortified citadel. In particular, Frederick II built a mole in defense of the bay overlooking the isthmus, while Alfonso of Aragon built five mighty towers.
  • After such splendor, the castle was badly damaged in the Eighteenth century. It was used as a prison until 1960.

 

The castle

The recovery of the castle of Milazzo began in the 80s and 90s. It is an immense structure: it extends on about 7 hectares and more than 12 thousand square meters are occupied by buildings. Today, the castle stands in all its imposing size in the middle of the old town of Milazzo.

The most beautiful parts of the castle are:

  • torrione del Saraceno
  • salone del Parlamento
  • camino monumentale
  • portale svevo
  • mastio and cinta aragonese
  • the so-called Duomo antico

 

How to get there

To get to castle of Milazzo from Messina:

  • take the Messina-Palermo motorway
  • take the Milazzo exit
  • follow the road signs to the castle

The journey by car takes about half an hour.

 

Previous leg: Castelbuono | Next leg: Montalbano Elicona

 

Image source: “Castello Milazzo 01” di Effems – Opera propria. Con licenza CC BY-SA 4.0 tramite Wikimedia Commons

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