Among the 9 cities in Sicily, there are so many little and beautiful villages where time seems to have stopped in the past. This happens also in Montalbano Elicona, that is in the province of the city of Messina.
So, if you don't even know what to do in Sicily, we suggest you in this brief article not just one of the best places to visit in Sicily, but also in Italy. This is because the medieval village of Montalbano Elicona was awarded as one of the most beautiful Italian villages in 2015, during a competition that every year opposes all the most beautiful villages of Italy, in order to make them famous and rediscover our roots. In fact, it is commonly said that if you travel but visit just the city centres excluding their villages, you can't say that you have known that place! It is in the small communities that lies the real soul of a place, where you can come in contact with their ancient traditions, is there that flavours and colours mix, that the faces of the inhabitants speak without speaking, that you can breathe a different air! Sicilian towns are very appreciated by foreigners because they can find them very close to the cities in Sicily in which they have decided to spend their holidays, so they can reach them very easily and find out the real Sicilian style!
It seems to be clear that if you are planning to come to Sicily where to go if not in a village? The answer couldn't be other than YES! So, let's discover Montalbano Elicona together!
Montalbano Elicona, off the cities in Sicily but near them!
As already said, Montalbano Elicona is one of the best places to visit Sicily and in Italy in general. Thanks to its position, facing the Tyrrhenian Sea from its 920 meters of elevation above sea level, but well linked with the highway, you can reach it both from Messina and Palermo, two of the main Sicilian destinations.
If you decide to book your excursion with Discover Messina, you will leave the city of the Strait with our tour guides that will provide you all the information about the Sicilian culture, history, our local identity, the Sicily food and much more, and in 90 minutes more or less you will be in one of the best town in Sicily. The spectacle starts even before you arrive because the highways are immersed in a magnificent landscape facing the 7 Aeolian Island, the mythological site of the God of the Winds, and in which you can see also the skyline of the Sanctuary of Tindari, a great destination chosen by the pilgrims devoted to its unusual Black Madonna.
Once you arrive at Montalbano Elicona, you can immediately perceive the atmosphere of an enchanted place: the magic is that you will find yourself in the Middle Age even if we are in 2020! You have to know that we, Sicilians, are great foodies, and in all the cities in Sicily we have the custom to start every activity just... eating! This helps break the ice and starting to be familiar with that place.
So, what to do in Sicily if not a tasting of local products? For this reason, our visit will start in a small and typical cheese factory, where the owners will welcome us offering the “provola di Montalbano”- a spun paste cheese made with cow milk.
Then this brief and tasty moment, it will start the visit of the village. The Sicily points of interest that the walking tour includes are:
- the Church of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria, realised in the 14th century and restored recently, it owns a marble statue realised by the school of one of the best families of Sicilian sculptors, the Gagini's.
- the Church of Saint “Niccolò il Vespro” and other important churches along the way
- The castle. It is in the upper part of the village and was initially realised by the Normans, but then was also inhabited and modified by the Swabians and the Aragoneses. Then, it passed under the control of the Jesuits that made it a monastery. Inside there's also a Palatine Chapel that has the structure of a Byzantine cuba.
- At the end of the visit, we will have lunch in a restaurant near the castle where you can taste the typical products of the place. Montalbano, in fact, is well known as one of the places to visit in Sicily to taste homemade bread, local cheese, salami, sweets and the local wine.
We are sure that Montalbano will be definitely one of your favourite sicilian towns both for its Sicily points of interest and for its food!
You can book your excursion through our website and you can do it from April 1st to October 31st, dont' miss this opportunity!