Lat: 38° 13' 53.33828" N - Long: 15° 14' 29.35114" E
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Milazzo is dominated by the imposing castle.
It is into a large area which is one of the largest all over Europe.
The various stratifications tell us a story begun on the top of the hill in 4000 BC, with a Neolithic settlement, located in the northern part of the castle area, and a necropolis.
On the hill there was also a greek settlement, a roman castrum, a byzantine one, and arab fortifications.
Actually, with the arabs, the pre-existing artistic traces disappear, the most ancient finds date back to this era, but history allows us to know their existence.
So the arabs began the construction of the first nucleus of the castle, which was later enlarged by normans and swabians with the architect Riccardo da Lentini.
The parliament hall has a norman architecture, the entrance portal of the manor has swabian features.
In 1295, in the hall, with arabic-style arches and a monumental fireplace, the Sicilian Parliament met in a session chaired by Frederick II of Aragon, in order to discuss the conspiracy hatched by Giacomo II of Aragon against Frederick II ; Giacomo had tried to give the island to the Angevins, this was an act of high treason.
The walls include eight towers and the connecting walls of the parade ground, which has a large cistern below.
Under the castle there is the so-called "Grotta di Polifemo", a natural cave that was used as a lazaretto when the plague raged, and as a gunpowder factory.
During the Second World War it housed the artillery, and today it is closed and in a state of neglect.
A feature that unify the various parts of the castle is the use of lava stone, both as a reinforcement and as a decorative element, for example for the ogival arches.
Even the fireplace and the catapult balls are made of lava stone.
Among the lava stone decorations, a scarab stands out in an angular buttress; other decorative elements with an esoteric meaning are in the outer walls of the castle.
Moving away from the castle there are aragonese walls and a spanish wall.
From the expansion of the fortified citadel, between the XV and the XVIII centuries, deerived Milazzo.
Today is still possible to visit, inside the citadel, the ancient Duomo, of the early seventeenth century, with a dome of only 13 meters, so built so as not to hinder the artillery fire.
The fortified citadel came to contain about 2,500 inhabitants, who gradually abandoned it.
The final abandonment was due to a fire that in 1778 destroyed the municipal seat.
In 1860 the castle was the last Bourbon shelter; it was in fact the scene of a battle between Garibaldi and Bourbon soldiers that resulted in the surrender by the latter due to the betrayal of Captain Amilcare Aguissola, who incessantly shelled the Bourbon forces forcing them to retire and surrender.
Later, until the sixties of the last century, the castle was used as a judicial prison and underwent considerable changes.
Today the entire area has been declared a National Monument.
It has undergone lengthy restorations and plans are underway to include the entire fortified citadel and the Ancient Village in the list of UNESCO sites.
From the castle you can enjoy a large panorama ranging from the Gulf of Patti to the Milazzo one, from the Aeolian islands to the hinterland, up to see the summit of Etna.
The castle is open every day except Mondays from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
Ticket is 5 euros.
For info tel: 090 9221291.
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