Montalbano Elicona is a small town in the province of Messina. It is one of the anciest and most picturesque town of the Nebrodi area. The place name probably derives from the latin words "mons albus" (white mounts), referring to the mountains whitened by the snow, or from the Arabic word "al-bana", meaning "excellent place".
It was mentioned for the first time in a document of XI century and took part in the Guelph revolt against Frederick II of Swabia. As a fief, it belonged to a succession of families - Alagona, Lanza di Malvagna, Romano Colonna di Cesarò and Bonanno.
The medieval village is dominated by the castle, built in its present forrn in the early XIV century, it became the residence of Frederick II of Aragon. Its structure is twofold: one older Swabian part, with the remains of two turrets, the other more recent (XIV century) in a fair state of repair - it is inhabited even today.
The Church of Santa Caterina is located near the castle and was built in the XIV century. its interior preserves an exquisite marble statue of the saint resting on a valuable base with bas-reliefs, attributed to the Gagini workshop.
The Baroque style Mother Church dedicated to San Nicola di Bari houses a sculpture of Saint Nicholas and a
delightful ciborium, both in marble and attributed to the Gagini school, a wooden 15th-century crucifix, a Last Supper attributed to the Guido Reni studio and valuable holy vessels and altar cloths.
We also suggest to visit the Church of Spirito Santo, the Sanctuary of Maria Santissima della Provvidenza, the Portello lookout and the stone portals of some patrician palaces.