Montalbano Elicona was proclaimed “Il Borgo dei Borghi d’Italia 2015”, the most beautiful small town in Italy in 2015. It is magic for its history and its narrow streets, which bring back court life with the horse ride during the Aragonese festivals in August, when the Palio of the neighborhoods of the town recalls medieval sports, such as the tug of war and the sack race.
The story and the Castle
The King of Sicily Frederick III, who belonged to the Crown of Aragon, lived in the Castle. But it was built up earlier by the previous King Frederick II, who was Staufer and also called stupor mundi. This castle overlooks the houses below, that stand out for their style of building: sandstone, baroque portals and balconies with curved cast iron railings supported by console brackets representing masks. The Staufen-Aragonese Castle houses art exhibition and meetings, then in its rooms there are two permanent didactic museums with contrasting themes:
- a museum dedicated to the white medieval weapons with numerous items such as armours, shields, spears and little models of war machine used between the 12th and the 18th century;
- a cord musical instruments museum. There are objects such as lutes or harps and many instruments dating back to the 12th and the 15th century.
Guided tour of Montalbano Elicona
Walking through the medieval streets we will discover some little treasures because of their important works of art:
- the Basilica St. Mary of the Assumption, the main church of the town. Built in medevial times but enlarged during the 17th century;
- the Church of Saint Catherine dating back to the 15th century and with only one nave. It contains significant works of art and in particular those made by the Sicilian sculptor Gagini, master of the marble.
Montalbano Elicona means also living close to nature. Continuing until 1200 m a.s.l., along the road of tholos, the landscape becomes amazing. This place is called Argimusco, that means upland of big layer. These limestone rocks inspired prehistoric inhabitants’ imagination.
You can’t miss a visit to Montalbano Elicona and the tourist guides of our association will be pleased to lead you through its story and beauties.
What to visit in Montalbano Elicona
- The castle
- The Basilica St. Mary of the Assumption
- Church of Saint Catherine
- Curch of Our Lady of the Providence
- Panoramic view point