Castles in Sicily: here are the ones you must visit

Sicily, protagonist over the centuries of numerous dominations by different peoples, preserves a treasure chest of impregnable fortresses once built to defend the cities, and which are now an essential destination for tourists.

There are more than 200 medieval castles in Sicily, visiting them all would be impossible for those with limited time.

Sicilying takes you to discover the fortresses and castles in Sicily not to be missed!

1. Castles in Sicily: Castle of Montalbano Elicona

The medieval castle of Montalbano Elicona was built in the 12th century AD for purely defensive-military purposes and for over 8 centuries it has passed hands many times over: first the Normans, few Swabians with Emperor Frederick II, then the Aragonese and finally the Spaniards. It is worth taking a walk through the walkways of one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, it will be like taking a step back in time!

Taste Sicilian street food! 

Useful info:

• Visiting hours: Winter period: 9: 00/13: 00-14: 00/18: 00; spring period (from 1 May to 30 June): 9: 30/13: 30 – 15: 00/19: 00; summer period (from 1 July to 30 September): 9: 30/13: 30 – 15: 30/20: 00.

• Ticket cost: € 3 adults, free up to 12 years.

2. Castles in Sicily: Castle of Milazzo

The castle of Milazzo is one of the largest and most fascinating in Sicily; 7 hectares of surface area and almost 14 thousand covered square meters!

The first documents attesting to the existence of the main building date back to the 21st century and from that moment Swabians, Aragonese, Spanish, Austrians and Bourbons inhabited it, making important changes to the original structure.

Do not miss the bastion from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Aeolian Islands!

Useful info:

• Visiting hours: From Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 18:30.

• Ticket cost: € 5 adults, free up to 18 years.

3. Castles in Sicily: Castle of Aci

The castle of Aci lies on a basaltic promontory made up of submarine lava flows dating back to around 500,000 years ago. It was built entirely in lava stone by the Normans in 1076 and is accessible through a masonry bridge. A civic museum has been set up inside that houses archaeological and historical finds ranging from prehistory to the medieval age.

Useful info:

Visiting hours: 1st September – end of summer time: morning 9: 00-13: 00 and afternoon 15: 00-19: 00; Standard time starts (last Sunday in October) – Standard time ends (last Sunday in March): morning 9: 00-13: 00; afternoon 15: 00-17: 00; Daylight saving time starts (last Sunday in March) – June 15: 9:00: 13:00; 15: 00-19: 00; June 16 – August 31: 9: 00-13: 00 and 16: 00-20: 30.

Ticket cost: € 3 adults, € 11 under 11 years, € 1.50 over 65 years.

4. Sperlinga Castle

Sperlinga Castle is one of the most fascinating castles in Sicily, located in the province of Enna, and is a medieval castle whose peculiarity lies in the fact that it was entirely excavated in the rock around 1080. Hence the name Sperlinga, which means spelonga, or cave.

Useful info:

Visiting hours: From 9.30 to 19.00.

Ticket cost: € 5 from 18 to 65 years of age, € 3 under 18 and over 65 years of age.

5. Castle of Paternò

Among the many monuments left by the Normans throughout Sicily, one of the most important is the castle of Paternò, a 34-meter-high parallelepiped that dominates the village from the top of the volcanic hill where it was built.

Useful info:

Visiting hours: 9: 00-13: 00/15: 00-19: 00

Ticket cost: free

6. Castello Maniace

In Syracuse and Ortigia, on the tip of the port stands the Maniace Castle, one of the most important examples of the military architecture of Frederick II. It was built between 1232 and 1240. The reason for the construction of this castle was precisely to protect and defend the city; from there it was possible to control both the mainland and access by sea.

Taste Sicilian street food! 

Useful info:

Visiting hours: From April to September: Monday 2.30pm-6.45pm; Tuesday to Friday: 08: 30-13: 00; Saturday: 8: 30-18: 45.

Ticket cost: Adults € 4.00, € 2.00 (aged between 18 and 25 years), Free: under 18 years and over 65 years.

7. Castle of Donnafugata

Moving to Ragusa, the obligatory stop at the castle of Donnafugata, famous for being the film set of some shots of the famous film Il Gattopardo by Luchino Visconti. Inside the castle there are more than 120 rooms and outside a wonderful 8-hectare park with a maze.

It is said that Count Bernardo Cabrera kept Bianca de Navarre locked up there, but the captive woman managed to escape through the galleries that led to the surrounding countryside. Hence the name “Donnafugata”, that is the “fugitive woman”.

Useful info:

Visiting hours: from April 14 to September 29, from Tuesday to Sunday: 9: 00-13: 00/14: 30-19: 00.

Ticket cost: adults € 6.00; € 3.00 (aged between 6 and 18 and over 65), free for children up to 6 years.

8. Castle of Mussomeli

In the province of Caltanissetta, the Manfredonian Castle of Mussomeli is a real work of art carved into the rock between the 14th and 15th centuries in a very panoramic position. The Castle, symbol of the power of the feudal barons, was built in 1364 by Manfredi II Chiaramonte for military and residential purposes.

Useful info:

Visiting hours: Winter opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.15 to 12.45; Summer hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9.15 to 12.45 and from 15.15 to 18.45

Ticket cost: Adults € 4, over 65 years and from 7 to 20 years € 2, free up to 6 years.

9. Castle of Caccamo

In the province of Palermo we find one of the best preserved Norman castles in Sicily: the castle of Caccamo, erected on a high rocky base, to dominate the landscape, as a natural extension of the stone walls.

Useful info:

Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 13:00 – from 15:00 to 19:00

Ticket cost: Adults € 4, for teachers and students between 18 and 25 years € 2, free for children under 18.

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