I’d heard so much about Sicily but hadn’t had a chance to visit. Fortunately, Lynn, Luca, and I rectified that issue over the winter holidays when we visited Montalbano Elicona!
The Veil Was Thin at Argimusco
For the first leg of our journey, we planned to celebrate Winter Solstice at the megalith Argimusco. I’d of course heard of Stonehenge, but didn’t realize there are other mysterious stones all around the world, including in Sicily and Calabria. Lynn had found out about this one, and we were eager to check it out.
What can I say about Argimusco? It was otherworldly. We were the only humans there (we interrupted a family of goats having dinner), and the entire place was shrouded in fog as soon as we arrived.
The park is fairly large and has stones named for the shapes they emote. The most obvious (and impressive) was the Eagle stone.
The energy around the stones was palpable. I’d never visited a spiritual site like this, but now I want to visit them all! We welcomed the Winter Solstice by Lynn reciting a sacred story and prayer.
Just a Stone’s Throw Away
The closest town to Argimusco is Montalbano Elicona, and that’s where we booked two nights to explore the area.
It’s not just us who thought Montalbano Elicona was adorable; it has been designated one of Italy’s I Borghi più belli d’Italia (the most beautiful towns in Italy), an honor given to only the most adorable towns in the country!
At the base of the mountain town, you’ll find the town square, with a few shops and restaurants peppered around the church, Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta e San Nicolò Vescovo.
If you’d like to take home some special Sicilian keepsakes, find the small artisan shop, L’angolo Dell’arte di Casella Angela, a catercorner from the big church.
You can walk around the entire lower part of Montalbano in about 20 minutes. Longer if you stop for coffee. Then I recommend you make the ascent to the top of the town.
But should you drive? That depends on you! I for one am extremely nervous about driving down super narrow streets in Italy, but Lynn was fearless!
Perched on top of the hill is the Castello di Montalbano, which has been keeping watch over the town since 1233. You can take a self-guided tour of the castle and grounds for just €3.
Affordable Yet Luxurious Accommodations in Montalbano Elicona
It was the enormous tub that drew me to book the Aragon Home Holiday Yuba apartment, right next to the castle. We got a two-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms…and yes, the world’s most decadent jacuzzi tub. I lost track of how many baths we each took, but suffice it to say, we left clean!
The decor was sparse, but we had everything we needed. And for about $75 a night, it was budget-friendly.
Just a note: there is a bottle of prosecco in the fridge. You might think, “oh, what a sweet gift.”
It is not a gift! We found out the hard way that they charge €18 for the bottle. It would be helpful if there was a note (in English) stating as much.
If you’re touring Sicily and have the chance, I recommend a night or two in Montalbano. I’m sure it’s even lovelier in the spring.