Inhabited since Neolithic
times, the Milazzo territory was definitely inhabited by the
Siculi who arrived from Calabria (15th Century BC) and then
became progressively Hellenistic through neighbouring Zancle
(Messina) who founded it and gave it the name of Mylai. Under
the Romans it was known by the name of Mylæ and under
the Arabs, Melaz.
The new City’s position, along the small peninsular,
was definitely a strategic one, allowing control of the coast
and for expansion towards the west.
Due to this fact, Milazzo often found itself in the middle
of clashes between the Carthaginians and the Greeks and then
between the Carthaginians and the Romans.
Here we can point out the famous Battle of Capo Milazzo (260BC),
during the First Punic War, when the Roman fleet, commanded
by the Consul Gaio Duilio, defeated the Carthaginian one,
giving Rome control of the sea. From this evolved the so called
Another famous battle was also fought in the same waters between
the fleet of Sesto Pompeo (Sextus Pompeius), son of Pompeo
Magno (Pompeius Magnus) and Ottaviano Augusto, adopted son
of Cesar, led by his General da Marco Vipsiano Agrippa. The
battle was resolved with the victory of Agrippa and the recovery
of the control of the whole of Sicily (36 BC). For this reason,
Augusto decorated Milazzo with the Roman Eagle, and to this
day, it can be seen on the City’s coat of arms, together
with the phrase - Aquila mari imposita Sesto Pompeo superato.
With the fall of Empire, Milazzo remained for some time under
the dominium of the Goths (5th Century), then the Byzantines
(6th Century) and finally the Arabs (14th Century), who undertook
the construction of the castle.
With the advent of the Normans (11th Century) firstly and
of the Swabians (12th-13th Century), town-walls were erected
and the castle was amplified. The successors, first with Giacomo
d’Aragona and then Alfonso d’Aragona, then amplified
the town-walls in defence of the continual attacks by the
Angioini from the Reign of Naples.
In the ‘500s, Milazzo began its current urban town-planning,
which is characterised by the separation between the high
City, the town on the slopes and the low City on ground level.
There are many things that are worthy of visiting in the City,
starting with the Castle which completely dominates it. It’s
surround by seven city walls. The Castle is the symbol of
the City itself. In the same area, one can visit the Duomo
(1608), a beautiful example of Sicilian mannerism.
There are many other religious buildings to visit apart from
the following: the Churches of the Immacolata (1640), S. Giacomo
Apostolo (1432) and the Madonna del Rosario (16th Century).