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The town of Taormina sits high above the Mediterranean Sea, so it already boasts some of the loveliest views in Sicily. But the tiny town of Castelmola, which sits above Taormina, can argue its views are even better.

Little Castelmola is just over 1,700 feet above sea level - for comparison, Taormina sits at just under 670 feet - and is a great hiking destination from Taormina. It’s a challenging hike, as you’re going uphill and up staircases almost from the time you leave Taormina until you arrive in Castelmola, but the views and town are worth it.

It’s true that you can see Taormina’s beaches and the Mt. Etna volcano from the Teatre Greco in Taormina, but from Castelmola you can see all of that plus the views on the other side of the mountain. From Castelmola, you’ve got a 360-degree view - and that’s hard to beat. The town itself invites you to stop and stay awhile as you recover from your uphill hike, with places to eat and get a drink, as well as just relax and take in the view.

Sights in Castelmola include a cathedral and several small churches, as well as the 13th century castle that gives the town its name. Many visitors partake in the local “vino di mandorla” - almond wine - as part of their hike recovery, as it’s refreshing when served cold.

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