Monte Tauro Castle

Taormina, Italy

Built by the Arabs about 400 meters high on the rock of Monte Tauro, the Castello Saraceno allowed to dominate on Taormina and its beautiful bay, and control the valley of the river Alcantara. The area of Monte Tauro coincided, in greek-Roman times, with the seat of the ancient acropolis less Taormina, Tauromenium. Castelmola represents the upper. It is likely that Muslims have used the fortress to defend themselves from the siege of the Normans of 1079. On that occasion the Count Roger, building a series of wooden towers all around the fortress, isolated himself in fact Muslims barricaded there, cutting them every type of supply. The only months hard resistance. Saraceno Castle of Taormina was during the reign of Frederick II, delivered to a noble castle. Today it is possible to appreciate the external walls of the building. Internal ones, however, were destroyed.



Your name


Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

More Information


4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

George Kouchakji (7 months ago)
Amazing view, friendly staff and we even had a bottle of champagne! Slightly over priced and in need of some moderation but great location and very close to town centre!
C Montoro (8 months ago)
The view is truly amazing ! The service provided by the staff is excellent, very professional & kind. However, the quality of the building & the service of the room is not up to a 4* hotel in my opinion. The conditions of the balcony & the bathroom definitely need maintenance ( deshilachadas...) . The room clean but was lacking of all the amenities you could find in most hotels (from a single pen, note pad, water, sleepers, a working fridge, Water kettle...), it might be due to COVID but still not as I was expecting it. The walls are so thin we could hear everything that was going on in the room next to us & in the corridor. The only elevator is not enough to serve all the rooms. Also to reach the hotel there is a steep hill you must do, my mum was really struggling with it. Unfortunately not my favorite hotel as after 2 weeks traveling around in Sicilia.
Tara C (8 months ago)
Great hotel. Large sized rooms. Sea facing rooms have amazing views. Pool a great size and nice and quiet.
Lydia Jaffar (9 months ago)
The location is not a car friendly hotel, because they don't have private parking. The closest private parking nearby has very limited closing hours (California Parking), so it is not convenient if you are planning to come back late. The other closest parking is Porta Catania which is about 15 minutes walk from the hotel. The walk from the parking to the hotel is nice, but not when you are tired after one whole day of sightseeing. The hotel itself is nice however, we think that it needs some refurbishment. If you are looking for a privacy, this is not the best one as the balcony between one room to the other is only seperated with plants. So you can see and listen to your neighbour. Having worked in a hospitality industry, I think the hotel have a lot of room for improvements for the customer service and hospitality. We are grateful that our room request was heard and they gave us a bottle of spumante as a honeymoon special (it would have been nice if they let us know that it was there for that reason) Having that said, the view from this hotel is spectacular. You can enjoy it from the room as all the rooms are sea view.
Nicole Hon (2 years ago)
Although there was some miscommunication with the staff on my first day. I didn’t have the round balcony and not a bathtub but a small shower room in my room. I still enjoyed my stay in this hotel. The sea view is very good, and I also could see the Etna mountain when it was sunny. All the other staffs are very sweet! Thank you for the sparkling wines for my birthday! I really love them! To me, it’s much much better than a birthday cake! I think maybe the staff who called Mario noticed that I wanted to order a bottle of sparkling wine, and I made a mistake to order some Italia sweets and I only ate a little. Thank you, Mario. When I’m leaving, after check out my room, the madam who worked on the reception, she is very nice and helpful. She helped me to book a taxi to the bus stop, and cleaned the table on the terrace, so I could have a rest and wait for my taxi with the amazing view. And she even helped me to take some pictures and videos! How nice they are! I think I really made a good decision to celebrate my birthday in Taormina and stayed in this hotel!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.