Legends and history of Milazzo


dr Claudio Italiano


 The history of Milazzo has its origins in the Neolithic. During the domination of Siculi, the city acquired prosperity and wealth, becoming a fortified polis. In Roman times its sea water was the scene of bloody naval battles. In 260 BC infact the city witnessed the Roman navy’s triumph, by the victory of consul Caio Duilio against the Carthaginians. Becoming an important naval base of Sextus Pompeus and fighting against Octavianus, gained civil recognition such as the Roman eagle, symbol of the city now. Many years later, in 843 AD, began the Arabic domain.

In this period was constructed the Tower of the Keep, known as the Saracen, an integral part of the castle. The castle is a national monument that stands on the landscape of the village. The first fortifications date back to the Neolithic. Later the Greek colonists have enlarged the acropolis which assumed considerable dimensions and became a Roman-Byzantine "castrum. In subsequent years, the Normans, the Swabians, the Aragonese and the Spanish finally have surrounded the castle by the mighty ramparts walls giving the appearance of a citadel. Inside the citadel is the old Cathedral, whose construction began in 1608 by designs of a famous architect, sir Camillo Camillians, a pupil of Michelangelo. The works have continued untill 1700. The church’s plan and the architectural drawing are typical of Renaissance and uncommon in sicily. Outside it is adorned by high-relief stone Corinthian capitals and a pair of pilasters frame, sculpted in 1621 by sir Domenico La Maestra.
The castle are said to have many legends. We recall the main: in some nights, especially in those of March, as the inhabitants of the village tell, you hear the moans of a young woman, an enclosed nun, who was buried living in the wall of the Tower of Islands, because she has betrayed the vow of chastity. Other people tell about the restless shadows of the ghosts in the small english damned cemetery. So we have even another legend that tells about an Irish soldier, Andrew Leonard, who were amputated arms and legs and was left to die imprisoned in a cage, which was modeled on the human figure by iron lists.

index of Milazzo