What it is and where it is
Montalbano Elicona is a village of just over two thousand inhabitants in the province of Messina, about 900 meters above sea level, in the heart of the Nebrodi Mountains. Montalbano, of medieval origin, is not by chance included among the most beautiful villages in Italy, a perfect combination with the past, in an area dense with history and charm.
Why it is special
In Montalbano Elicona, time seems to stand still among the narrow streets that follow the course of the rocky promontory and in the ring of houses that rise all around the ancient castle built at the behest of Frederick II of Aragon, and which has always been the hub of the town. The town is rich in architectural and natural beauty, and enjoys a truly exciting landscape.
Not to be missed
Among the beauties of the village, the Castle of Montalbano Elicona, located in the historic center, is worth a visit. Don't miss the Malabotta Forest, a nature reserve of enormous naturalistic value, and the Argimusco Plateau with its megaliths, often referred to as the Sicilian Stonehenge.
Noteworthyevents include: the Insabbiata di Montalbano Elicona, where the streets of the center are decorated with designs made using colored sands; the Feste Aragonesi, with games and historical reinterpretations; and the Presepe Vivente, a particularly heartfelt event involving the entire community.
A bit of history
The origins of Montalbano Elicona date back to the 11th century. There are, however, different interpretations ofthe etymology of the name. Some scholars attribute a Latin meaning to the name, exactly from "mons albus," meaning "snowy mountain"; according to other scholars, however, the name would come from the Arabic "al bana, " which translates to "excellent place." The second part of the name, Elicona, can certainly be traced back to Greek rule in Sicily.
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