A trip around villages and castles facing on the Ionian Sea – Road.Travel

A trip around villages and castles facing on the Ionian Sea

Road Trip Route. Landscapes between sea and mountain, Uncommon itineraries, Wonderful beaches, Traditional food .

Hello! I'm Rossella Grande and in this itinerary I will let you discover some of the most beautiful villages and castles that you can visit between the provinces of Messina and Catania. Your adventure will begin the moment you land at Catania's airport and get into your car. Together we will go to the discovery of Calatabiano, Taormina, Mazzarò, Castelmola and many other places! We will also dive into the waves of the Ionian Sea, sunbathing on the beautiful beach of Isola Bella. So, what are you waiting for to take a plane ticket to Sicily? *Credits: This tour was made by Rossella Grande, as a multimedia tourist and storytelling project for the "Laboratory of formal technical writing (storytelling and gamification)", under the coordination of Prof. Elisa Bonacini, within the ITS 2-years COURSE "Higher Technician for the management of tourist accommodation facilities and cultural activities", 2019-2021, founded by the ITS Archimede Foundation at the CUMO Eastern Mediterranean University Consortium, in Noto (Syracuse).*

💥 Try for Free, History and Culture, Unobvious locations, Gastronomy. From: Catania

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Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Arrival at Catania's airport, route to Calatabiano, Mazzarò and Taormina

On this first day of travel,I will first take you to Calatabiano, where there is a castle perched on a rock of a beauty that will leave you breathless! Then we will go to your apartment: I have chosen one for you in the delightful bay of Mazzaò, on the sea, at the foot of the fortress of Taormina. And from there we will begin the discovery of the city, the Pearl of the Mediterranean Sea!

Catania Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) (Aeroporto di Catania Fontanarossa)

Welcome to Sicily! Now your real adventure begins! First of all, I suggest you try a good granita with Sicilian brioche at the airport's bar. Or why not, a delicious Sicilian cannoli with cream that has always charged her! After eating, go pick up your car. The very first stop, the Calatabiano Castle is waiting for you!


Welcome to Calatabiano, a historic and charming village in the province of Catania. Keep your eyes peeled for a parking space and wear comfortable shoes. A steep climb awaits you before reaching the Castle! The castle could be reached, in fact, by a winding road or, if you do not want to be too weary just in the morning, by a cable car built during the restoration of the castle in 2011.

Castello di Calatabiano

Finally here before your eyes the magnificent Arab-Norman Castle of [Calatabiano](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calatabiano)! It was founded about the end of 800 AD. son it's 1,300 years old! After many changing, during the Spanish domination, the actual castle looks a bit different from the original building. The last one was made by the Baron Pasquale Pennisi of Floristella, who owned it around 1850, and changed the Castle with the construction of a winery and some houses for farmers. From here you can see a breathtaking view that goes from Taormina to Etna.

Trattoria la tana dell'orso

As soon as you have finished your visit to the Castle, get ready to binge for lunch at the "Trattoria dell'Orso"! Here you can order a tasty pizza or typical local dishes. The only limit is your appetite!


After you have filled your stomachs to satiety, get back in the car and head towards Mazzarò, where you can finally leave your suitcases and have a rest!


Welcome to [Taormina](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taormina), one of the most fascinating cities of the Eastern Sicily! I would suggest finding parking the car on Lumbi Parking (and then and then take the shuttle to Porta Messina) or - if you're lucky! - just near Porta Messina, one of the two inputs (the other one is Porta Catania) which gives access to the historic city center. The history of Taormina started in Greek times: Tauromenion was in fact founded in 358 BC, about 2400 years ago. From the Roman phase we can date the most important monuments, among which the Ancient Theatre stands out as a prestigious and extraordinary symbol. Are you ready to give in to Taromina's charms? And, if you want to know all its archaeological secrets, here is a suggested izi.TRAVEL audiotour for you!

Corso Umberto I

On Corso Umberto I you will find some of the most beautiful and famous attractions of the city. You know "Vicolo Stretto" or "Baltic Avenue" in the famous board game Monopoly? Here it really exists and you can find it along this street before Piazza IX Aprile!

Duomo di Taormina

How beautiful is the Cathedral of Taormina? You should know that it is the medieval Church of St. Nicholas of Bari, which over the centuries has undergone several changes both internal and external. If you find it open, step inside, you will amaze you!

Villa Zuccaro

In this pizzeria you can taste the best pizza in Taormina, if not in all of Sicily!

Day 2: From Castelmola to Sirens's Bay

Good morning! After a hearty breakfast facing the sea in your apartment, wear comfortable shoes and get in the car in the direction of Castelmola. Here, more surprises are waiting for you!


Welcome to [Castelmola](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castelmola), one of the most beautiful villages in Italy!

Castello di Castelmola

Admire the imposing Castello di Mola! It has a very ancient origin, it even dates back to the Greeks! Over the centuries, however, it was the settlement of many peoples and now some of its rooms house the Museum of the Sicilian Middle Ages. How about visiting it?

Bar Turrisi

Now relax and enjoy a refreshing aperitif at this bar in the square, where you can taste a very good Almond Wine. You should know, however, that it is a real attraction for visitors to the site because of the particular objects erotic stored inside. I leave you to find out what it is!

Belvedere Piazza Sant'Antonio

From this viewpoint you can see a breathtaking view. You can't not have a stop there and take pictures and selfies to share with your friends!

Chiesa Madonna Della Rocca

Before lunch enjoy a visit to this impressive church built into the rock and built around 1600. It is not magnificent?

Al Saraceno

Now enjoy a well-deserved lunch surrounded by a wonderful view. Recharge your energy, you still have a lot to see!

Castello di Taormina

Have you eaten a lot? Why don't reach the next castle? there are quite a few steps to climb! Take your time, and finally have a short rest in your apartment!

Porto Baia delle Sirene

Before going to dinner, how about a walk by the sea in Mazzarò? Who knows, if you're lucky, you might even see some mermaids resting in the bay!

La Capinera

Have a nice dinner! Tonight, refined flavors worthy of a starred cuisine await you. But do not overdo it with the wine, later in Taormina there will occassione to enjoy a few drinks!

Porta Messina

Leave the car near Porta Messina. I'm sure Taormina at night will enchant even once!


Who said that the evening is over? Here at the Morgana Lounge Bar you can party all night! But, remember, tomorrow await other wonderful places to visit!

Day 3: A day as a castellan!

Good morning! Today we will go to the discovery of the Castle of Sant'Alessio Siculo and the charming village of Savoca. While, tonight, a pizza awaits you on the Schisò seafront, in the Naxos's bay. Are you ready?

Castello di Sant'Alessio Siculo

Welcome to the magnificent Byzantine Castle of Sant'Alessio Siculo! Its location is not random and is still an important strategic point in the area. It was built by the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Comnenos, about 1000 years ago, in his war against the Normans, but it was not enough to prevent eastern Sicily from being conquered. How far can you see?


Welcome to [Savoca](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savoca), another beautiful Sicilian village in the province of Messina! Are you a fan of Francis Ford Coppola's movie, [The Godfather](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather)? So perhaps you will recognize some locations of the movie: Savoca was in fact one of the main location for the scenes and its Bar Vitelli (which is very famous for its Lemmon granita), in the motion picture was the place where Michael Corleone asked Apollonia's father to meet his daughter.

Piazza Fossia

I recommend you leave the car near the square, so that you will visit almost everything by foot!


Enjoy your meal! Treat yourself to a hearty lunch, there is still much to see!

Chiesa di S. Nicolo' (statua di S. Lucia)

After lunch, go to visit the medieval church of San Nicolò. It will be surprised by its simple beauty!

Chiesa Madre (cattedrale) sec. XIII.

In your walk you cannot miss a visit to the Mother Church of Savoca. What do you think of it?

Castello di Pentefur

Get back to the car and head to Pentefur Castle. It has been built at the turn between the Roman and Byzantine period. Can you imagine how glorious state?

Chiesa del Calvario

Last stop in Savoca! After visiting the church, I recommend that you return to the apartment to rest and get ready for the evening!

Da Pippo Lupo di Mare

Have a nice dinner! I hope the food is to your liking. What do you want tonight, a good pizza or a fish dish? Here there is plenty of choice!

Lungomare Schisó

After dinner, treat yourself to a nice digestive walk along the Schisò seafront, not far from the restaurant, you can also see a castle! You are exactly in the very first bay where the Greek colonist arrived in the 8th century BC, and founded [Naxos](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naxos_(Sicily)), the very first settlement of a colony of Chalcidians Greeks. On Capo Schisò, between the 13th and 14th centuries the castle of Schisò was erected to defend the bay of Giardini Naxos.

Castello di Schisó

Here you are at the [Castello di Schisò](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schisò_Castle)! It was built between 1200 and 1300 during the Swebian and Angion period. From its position you can easily see the bay of [Giardini Naxos](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giardini_Naxos)!

Day 4: From Mazzarò to Catania's airport

Good morning, today is your last day of holiday! How about a dip in the waters of Isola Bella? After that, you will have to fix your suitcase, but that does not mean that the adventure is over. There are still other places to visit before returning to the airport in Catania!

Spiaggia libera Isola Bella

What say you to relax on this beautiful beach, in the very famous Isola Bella, a little pearl in the blue sea? This morning take the sun calmly, you will think later the suitcases!

Istmo di Isola Bella

But isn't this small island connected to the beach with a single strip of sand magnificent? I recommend you visit it and if you want you can also reach Isola Bella by boat!

Mendolia Beach Club

Now treat yourself to a good lunch in this beach establishment, before returning to the hotel!

San Marco

Castello di San Marco

Here you are at the Castle of San Marco! There is a luxury hotel with a spa nearby, are you sure you don't want to stop here for a few more days?

Fiumefreddo Sicilia

A little stop in the village of [Fiumefreddo](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiumefreddo_di_Sicilia) (the name means "cold river")!

Castello degli Schiavi

Finally you have also arrived at the Slaves Castle in Fiumefreddo, the penultimate stage of our itinerary! Normally, this baroque building can be visited, but unfortunately time is running out, we need to get back on the path towards Aci Castello!

Aci Castello

Welcome to [Aci Castello](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aci_Castello)! Here you can enjoy one last walk and a good dinner before going to the airport!

Castello di Aci

From the square overlooking the sea, you can see the famous Norman Castle above whose history there are many interesting legends!

La Luna Pizza & Food

Now it's time for your last dinner in Sicily! What will miss you most of all the good food you have tasted? Hoping you liked my travel proposal, I wish you a good return home ... and I hope to see you again in Sicily soon for other road trips!