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“Night time visit”

Castello di Calatabiano
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Calatabiano
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Attraction details
Owner description: L’ascesa al colle della “terra vecchia”, resa possibile dal suggestivo ascensore panoramico inclinato, conferisce ai visitatori la duplice emozione di godere una vista, di grande valenza paesaggistica, del comprensorio Taormina-Etna e della valle fluviale del Fiume Alcantara e nello stesso tempo di farsi sfiorare dal fascino delle vestigia di secoli di storia del Mediterraneo. Un sapiente lavoro di restauro ha portato alla luce un sito archeologico-monumentale di eccezionale importanza. The ascent to the hill of the "old earth", made possible by the impressive panoramic lift, gives to the visitors the thrill to enjoy a view of great value: the mount Etna and Taormina, the valley of the Alcantara River and at the same time to be touched by the charm of the vestiges of centuries of Mediterranean history.A skilful restoration work has unearthed a monumental archaeological site of exceptional importance.
Reviewed 15 August 2013

We loved the fact that you can visit up until 22:00. Beautiful looking out over the area at night. You do need to wear sensible shoes as some areas are uneven, and lighting is subtle, however saying that brilliant disabled access. Some very clever modern touches such as the toilets very tastefully incorporated.

1  Thank Dearmans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 - 18 of 232 reviews

Reviewed 16 May 2013

This medieval (arabic) castle has been well restaured and is a must view if you are in Taormina's area.
From it you enjoy a marvellous view at the Alcantara's walley, at Taormina, at the sea.

Personally, instead of taking the elevator I prefer to walk up in springtime (in summer it may be too hot) from Calatabiano's village. In this way your satifastation of being uphill is great!

1  Thank Giuseppe F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

Fantastic views! My visit went very well. I am a 21 year old tourist, so my Sicilian family wanted to show me some sites. I completely recommend this castle! It is not that large but it seems very raw and untouched. They let you walk around on your own pace. The veiws of Etna, the coast, the hills, and towns are a dream. It is a fairly unknown site, which makes it all the better. I like how they chose to put in lucite furnishings that don't compete with the ancient ruins. It is a short visit so you can squeeze it in pretty easily with other plans.

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1  Thank Marie917
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2013

This castle lies at the top of a hill, 220m above sea level and has beed exceptionally restored in recent years. Access to the castle is though an elevator from the ticket/information office at the foot of the hill. Space for Parking is nearby. Archeological research and excavations are still ongoing outside the caste. One can see fantastic views of the Alcantara valley and surrounding town as well as Mount Etna. At night, one can see the castle illuminated from the autostrada Catania / Messina. A visit to this castle is a must.

1  Thank Sliema28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2012

Calatabiano Castle lies atop a hill and dominates the eastern access of the Alcantara valley.

In ancient times a long winding track lead from the village up to the castle gate. Today you can take a glass elevator, located just outside the ticket shop. On your way up you can enjoy beautiful views of the landscape.

You arrive at the foot of the castle where archeological research has determined the location of a greek temple and a cistern.

Next stop is the castle gate which is exemplary for the architectural evolution of the complex, boasting byzantine, norman and seventeenth century defense techniques.

The courtyard has a seventeenth century appearance. You can see the Cruyllas Hall, the chapel and the Hall of Arms. The latter used to have an upper storey and was originally accessible only from within the core castle.

What struck us most in the Hall of Arms where two skeletons found on site. One belongs to a Byzantine soldier who got mortally wounded in battle just outside the castle around 840 AD. The second one is attributed to Giovanello, fifteenth century heir of the Cruyllas family.

The tour continues within the core castle. Here you see a cave with early Christian fish symbol, scarce remains of a smithy and a Byzantine keep with flanking semi-cylindrical towers and traitor’s gate.

Calatabiano castle last saw action in 1677, when 150 Spaniards held out against a larger French force. In 1693 it was heavily damaged by earthquake and subsequently abandoned. Now it has been respectfully restored.

Although only part of the medieval enclosure remains and most buildings in the courtyard date from later on you can still appreciate the strategic value of the castle and the power of its defenses.

An information booklet is on sale at the ticket office, alas only in Italian.

PS :
Beware of Sicily ! It is an ideal location to practice water sports during high season, enjoy excellent food in a charming atmosphere and enroll for a few organized excursions with a local guide. It is however no country for individual cultural visit ! There are not that many highlights, opening times are liable to sudden changes and usually information is available only in Italian.

2  Thank Iweinvanaalst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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