Hotel Villa Sonia is in a a superb position with magnificent views over the Sicilian countryside to Mount Etna. We discovered its terrace 'by accident' when we missed the lunch-time bus down to Taormina, and noticed the entrance to it by the road junction at which the bus waits. We then found out that for 8 euros each we would be provided with a...more
Castelmola is a small village, high up on the top of the hill above Taormina.The village is buildt like a fortress, to protect the inhabitants against agressors from the sea. By car the ride goes for about 5 kms, by foot one and a half hour to the top.The village consists of many small, narrow lanes, which are worthwile to explore; when the...more
It's not called Castelmola for nothing. Although little more than four walls, the castle at the top of the moutain is worth the climb if only for the view. It's accessible by a long staircase. Just below it, along the path, is a large restaurant with a huge cliffside patio. It was closed when I was there but the view of the Sicilian landscape was...more
Taormina's Greek theatre has a fantastic view, this is true. It is, however, also crawling with tourists and costs 4.50 euro to get into. Castelmola, being on another, higher, promontory, has an even better view from the balcony of its Duomo. A friend of mine spent four hours watching the sunset here once (of course, he's a little crazy, and he...more
On arriving in Castelmola we dropped into this cafe for mid-morning coffee. The proprietor was very keen for us to sit on the balcony in order to enjoy the view, but we opted for inside. It is also a shop for souvenirs, including a rather racy line in aprons. (I'm not quite sure what the reason is, but a certain part of the male anatomy seems to be...more
Caffè Turrisi has a wonderful view - it's three stories and each has a little terrace from which you can see the waters of Taormina. The decorations of this places are entirely dedicated to male sexual symbols - that is, the phallus. Phalluses of all types decorate this odd place - of all shapes, sizes, and materials, including a gigantic one used...more
Castelmola is most easily reached by:
Car - for those of you lucky enough to be travelling around Sicily in a car, Castelmola is a MUST, I tell you. On the A18 Messina-Catania autostrada take the Taormina (and Giardini-Naxos) exit, follow the signs to Taormina. Upon arriving in Taormina, keep going - there are lots of signs indicating Castelmola, and there is only one road.
Bus from Taormina - the ATS bus system runs a bus several times a day from the Taormina bus stop (near the top of the funicular) to CM. Schedule is posted at the bus station.
Walking/Hitching - It's several kilometers of road from Taormina to Castelmola, most of it windy, uphill, and without shoulder to speak of. This doesn't mean it's not a good walk - au contraire: the views are spectacular. A friend of mine made the hike and said it took him about an hour. Of course, you can hitch a ride from a tourist, or if you get lucky, a local.