Experiences in Montalbano Elicona
The Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands on one side, the Nebrodi mounts on the other and the Mount Etna behind. At more than 900 mt above sea level, where there is the ancient village of
“MONTALBANO ELICONA, The most beautiful Italian village 2015“
In a single glance, you can enjoy a stunning scenario made of unspoiled nature. The Malabotta Wood- Nature Reserve- and the Argimusco Megaliths- magical and mysterious rocky figures- are two treasures of this area.
According to the researchers, the particular position of these pre-historic huge sandstone rocks is due to their function as an ancient astronomic observatory and as connection elements between the nature and the worship to Mother Earth. Montalbano, whose origins date back to thousands of years ago, stands in one of the most important crossroad of the Sicilian history: the passage that in the past used to connect the Greek colony of Tindari, on the Tyrrhenian Sea, with Taormina, on the Ionian Sea. Several dominations have followed during the history, each of them leaving its prints. Since the setup of the village dates back to the Norman Conquest, the historic centre shows a medieval urban plant. The visitor who gets inside the ancient city, dominated by the Swabian-Aragon Castle, finds himself in adegno d kind of a theatre, in a timeless landscape. The main part includes the ancient manor, the most prestigious architectural element of the area. Rebuilt on Byzantine and Arab buildings, the castle consists of a Norman-Swabian armed camp in the upper part, and a Swabian-Aragon fortified palace, in the lower one. The byzantine “cuba”, the Real Chapel with three apses, that today guards the remains of the alchemist Arnaldo from Villanova. Another remain rkable architectural piece included in this scenario is the Mother Church, in honor to St Nicolas and elevated to the stutus of Basilica in 1997. Its medieval existence dates back to the XII century, renovated in 1645. The Basilica has inside several prestigious works of art; among them: the tabernacle and the marble statue of St Nicolas, in the style of Gagini School; a wooden crucifix of 13th century; a painting representing the Last Supper, in the style of Guido Reni School. The little medieval church of St Catherine of Alessandria, rebuilt in 1344, with its beautiful Romanic door and the marble statue of the St Catherine, in the style of Gagini School. Moreover, the Church of the Holy Spirit in Cathar style, and the Sanctuary of Maria SS. Della Provvidenza, with the wooden statue of the Madonna, taken in procession on the 24th August, adorned with jewels given by the devotees. Finally, the doors of Miligi House and Ballarino House, which have been declared national monuments in 1912. Final element, the Portello Square, wonderful belvedere where in a single glance you can enjoy a stunning panorama: the Nebrodi Mounts peaks, to the Aeolian Islands in the sea.
The gastronomic tradition of this village is connected to the ancient peasant culture: simple and genuine ingredients for a cuisine rich in colours, flavours and scents. Pasta with beans, fava beans soup and “maccheroni”, simple dishes that acquire its unique taste from ingredients such as fennel, the “scurcilla”, “u sutta e suvra” and the grated baked ricotta on the maccheroni with Nebrodi black pork ragu.
The processing of the “maccheroni” is particular, using a reed stick. Among the local products, you can find fresh ricotta, salty ricotta and baked ricotta, some cheese to taste with the freshly baked local bread, as well as the sausage and the traditional hazelnut sweets such as the “nuvolette” and the “cullure”. Directly from its font, you can taste Fontalba water, produced in the Montalbano Acque establishement.
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With us, Discover Messina Sicily, explore this village through our services and excursions, with our guides and our assistants in Italian, English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Rumanian, Chinese and in the sign language.
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