Milazzo was founded by the Greeks in the 8th century BC. with the name Mylae and was subsequently conquered by the Roman hegemony in 260 BC. during the First Punic War. Around the city we find various testimonies of the war that saw these two empires as protagonists. In the 10th century AD it was conquered by the Muslim empire, under whose rule the city became a thriving agricultural and commercial centre, thanks also to the introduction of tuna fishing, an activity which would become the main source of livelihood for all citizens until its abolition occurred in the 40s of the twentieth century.

Between the 12th and 18th centuries, Milazzo was also subject to French and Spanish rule which ended in 1713 when the city passed under the rule of the Savoys. During the Napoleonic wars, the city became the base of the defensive and offensive system of the British Empire and then remained under Bourbon influence until 1860, when the army called “Dei Mille” led by Giuseppe Garibaldi won the battle for liberation of southern Italy. In fact, the eastern seafront of the city has been dedicated to him.

During the world wars of the 20th century the city suffered heavy bombings which caused the destruction of many historical buildings. Despite this, much of the artistic and architectural heritage is still present throughout the city.

Milazzo Cape

Milazzo Cape is the most extreme part of the promontory. It consists of a long avenue that ends with a dirt path ending at the Piscine di Venere: a natural lake of warm salt water set among the rocks. At Milazzo Cape there is also the Sanctuary of Sant’Antonio da Padova, a small cave where the saint found shelter after being shipwrecked and which in 1221 was transformed into a place of worship.

In 2019 the whole promontory of Milazzo Cape became a Marine Protected Area.

Milazzo Castle

The Castle of Milazzo stands on the ancient village of the city and witnessed many battles and various empires thanks to its geographical location. The architectural style over the centuries has undergone various influences of which we can still admire the evidence today.

The castle hosts cultural events of various kinds including the Mish Mash Festival which since 2016 has become one of the most important indie, electronic and rock music festivals in Southern Italy.


Within the walls of the Castle, we also find the Mu.Ma., the Sea Museum of Milazzo, housed in the former Church present in the Santa Maria Bastion and inaugurated in 2019. Defined as “a spiritual journey to rediscover the harmony between man and sea through science and art”, the museum aims to raise awareness on the protection of the sea thanks also to projects, such as virtual reality, which allow the viewer to get to know the Capodoglio Siso (a mammal found stranded on the cliffs of Milazzo Cape).

The cetacean died after ingesting a huge amount of plastic that led him to run aground on the coast of Milazzo. The marine biologist and founder of the museum, Carmelo Isgrò, then recovered the body and cleaned up the skeleton which was deliberately displayed at the entrance to the with various plastic objects inside the stomach (evidence of the serious pollution in the seas around the world).

Ancient Cathedral

The Ancient Cathedral is one of the largest churches in Milazzo and is located inside the Castle. It is visible from all areas of the city thanks to its majestic dome. The predominant architectural styles are Baroque and Renaissance. In 1678 its altar was consecrated to Santo Stefano Protomartire, patron saint who is celebrated on the first Sunday of September. On 20 July 1860 the Church was seriously damaged due to the clashes between Garibaldi’s and Bourbon troops, which is why it was definitively deconsecrated in the same year.

Nowadays the Church is used for cultural purposes, hosting exhibitions and events but also civil ceremonies.


On the road to reach the Borgo Antico we find the Antiquarium of Milazzo which is housed in one of the most prestigious structures in the city: the east wing of the Spanish Quarter, built in the 16th century. in defense of the fortified citadel.

Inside the Antiquarium there is an uninterrupted sequence of 10 exhibition halls containing finds from the Neolithic Age (5th millennium BC) to the Byzantine Age (7th century AD). This is further proof of the importance that the territory of Milazzo has had over the millennia.

Borgo Antico

The Borgo Antico stands at the foot of the Castle of Milazzo. Inside the perimeter of the Borgo we still find visible evidence of the passage of various civilizations, as in the case of the Church of the Rosary, located at the foot of a staircase that leads directly to the entrance of the Castle, or the Sanctuary of San Francesco di Paola (co-patron of the city together with Santo Stefano Protomartire).

There are also the Church of Santo Rocco (framed by a delightful little square from which it is possible to see the whole city of Milazzo), the Church of the Santissimo Salvatore or historic buildings such as the Palazzo dei Vicerè dating back to the 16th century.

Marina Garibaldi

Continuing from the port you reach the Levante seafront: the Marina Garibaldi, dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi. It is a promenade of about 1 km from which it is possible to admire the gulf of the city up to the Vaccarella district, dotted with a long tree-lined avenue with benches to enjoy the delicate sea breeze.

Vaccarella has always been the seaside neighborhood that has seen generations of fishermen follow one another. The city library is located right in this neighborhood, inside an ancient historic building, Palazzo d’Amico, where exhibitions and events of various kinds are also held.


The Ponente seafront is certainly the most important beach in Milazzo. Over 5km of small variegated pebbles that characterize the clear and crystalline waters of this enchanting beach, almost all of which is free to use, except for the presence of a few beaches along the coast. This is why it is suitable for people of all ages.

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