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Comune di Milazzo
View of the Castle, Old Chatedral, Ancient "Borgo", and part of waterfront of the city center.
View of the Castle, Old Chatedral, Ancient "Borgo", and part of waterfront of the city center.
Nickname(s): The cape town
Milazzo within the Province of Messina
Milazzo within the Province of Messina
Milazzo is located in Italy
Location of Milazzo in Italy
Coordinates: 38°13′N 15°14′E / 38.217°N 15.233°E / 38.217; 15.233
Country Italy
Region Sicily
Province / Metropolitan city Messina (ME)
 • Mayor Giovanni Formica from 15/06/2015
 • Total 24.23 km2 (9.36 sq mi)
Elevation 1 m (3 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 32,146
 • Density 1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Milazzesi / Mamertini / Milaiti
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 98057
Dialing code 090
Patron saint St. Stephen
Saint day First Sunday of September
Website Official website

Milazzo (Sicilian: Milazzu, Latin: Mylae[2]) is a town (comune) and is the third-largest city in the province of Messina, Sicily, after Messina and Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto. The town has a population of over 32,000 inhabitants.


Several civilizations settled in Milazzo and left signs of their presence from the Neolithic age. In Homer's Odyssey Milazzo is the place where Ulysses is shipwrecked and meets Polyphemus.

Historically, the town originated as the ancient Mylae, an outpost of Zancle, occupied before 648 BC, perhaps as early as 716 BC.[3] It was taken by the Athenians in 426 BC. The people of Rhegium planted here the exiles from Naxos and Catana in 395 BC as a counterpoise to Dionysius the Elder's foundation of Tyndaris; but Dionysius soon took it. In the bay Duilius won the first Roman naval victory over the Carthaginians (260 BC).

In 36 BC the naval battle of Mylae was fought offshore. The fleet of Octavian, commanded by Marcus Agrippa, engaged that of Sextus Pompey. While the battle was nearly a draw, Sextus could not replace his losses, and was thus weaker at the following battle of Naulochus (36 BC), where he was utterly defeated.[4]

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, under the Byzantines, the town became one of the first episcopal seats of Sicily. In the 9th century Milazzo was conquered by the Arabs, who built here the first nucleus of the castle. Frederick II of Hohenstaufen further fortified the town and created here a personal hunting park. The castle was later mostly rebuilt in the age of Charles V of Spain.

Milazzo was also the seat of a battle in 1718 between Spain and Austria, and of another fought by Giuseppe Garibaldi against the Kingdom of Two Sicilies during his Expedition of the Thousand.


Milazzo borders with the municipalities of Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Merì and San Filippo del Mela.[5]

Milazzo is the point of reference of a vaste territory, from Villafranca Tirrena to Patti (over 200,000 inhabitants). Is also, an important centre of the Strait of Messina Metropolitan Area (who also includes areas of Reggio Calabria), with the nearby town Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto. Located at the base of a peninsula that juts into the Tyrrhenian Sea with a small promontory, the town is 43 kilometres (27 mi) from the city of Messina.[citation needed]

Main sights[edit]

The church of the Carmine.
  • Castle of Milazzo. Begun by the Arabs, enlarged by the Normans, restored and strengthened by Frederick II, it is surrounded by walls with round towers built under Alfonso V of Aragon, with a Gothic portal dating from the 14th century. Near the castle are the ruins of the fourteenth-century palace of the grand jury and the old cathedral (1603) probably built on a design by architect Camillo Camillians.

Other sights include:

  • the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • the Baroque Church of the Holy Crucifix (1629), housing a wooden canopy from the 18th century and a wooden crucifix from the early 17th century.
  • Rock church of St. Anthony of Padua
  • Sanctuary of St. Francis of Paola


Over time, the town is moving forward towards the sea by recording a continuous development of agriculture and fishing activities, commercial and industrial.


The port of Milazzo is a departure point for ferries to the Aeolian Islands and Naples.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (Italian) Source: Istat 2011
  2. ^ Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 47, notes.)
  3. ^ E. A. Freeman, History of Sicily, I., pp. 395, 587
  4. ^ Dio 49.1–18
  5. ^ 39568 (x a j h) Milazzo on OpenStreetMap

External links[edit]