Voted Borgo dei Borghi 2015 d’Italia (Most Beautiful Village in Italy), Montalbano Elicona is a small medieval hilltop town located in the middle of the Nebrodi Mountains in the Province of Messina. We will drive up to the town on a picturesque, winding ride overlooking the Aeolian Islands and then walk down narrow cobblestone streets to reach Piazza Castello, the historic center. Here we will tour the impressive Castello, built by Emperor Frederic II in the 12th Century. Our tour of the castle will end with a stop in the museum of weapons in the basement. Next door to the castle, we will visit the Chiesa di Santa Caterina (if open), built in the 1300s and restored several times, to see its beautiful marble statue of the saint and other art works. If time permits, we will also visit the Chiesa di Spirito Santo (if open), dating from the 14th Century, to see its wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, covered in jewels.
In the afternoon, we will drive and then walk to Argimusco, a high and vast area of megaliths that resemble both human and animal forms. The site is sometimes called the “Stonehenge of Sicily.” While archaeologists believe the megaliths were created by natural forces, local legends say prehistoric people created this site for ceremonial uses. Regardless of the origins, the magnificent views impress all visitors.