The castle

The entrance is preceded by a short uphill path, a sort of a hard initiation for access the highest point of the fortress, a symbol of protection and extreme defense. From the oldest Norman fortress, we only knew the Torre Maggiore, an imposing and dominant building, originally even higher than one floor.

From the excavations of the recovery works that are almost finished, we know new things like significant testimonies about the location and the nature of the materials found (foundation of a large boundary wall, traces of connecting masonry, ramp in solid bricks neatly arranged in a herringbone pattern etc.) It was found useful evidence that could be used to reflect about the structure missing parts, and on the connections with the Torre Maggiore.

Little by little the possible configuration of the XII century begins to be outlined. Around the years 1228-1230, Frederick II created a plan of restructuring the Norman buildings and construction of new ones, a decade ahead of the construction of the major castles of eastern Sicily (Ursino of Catania, the Manual of Syracuse, the castle of Augusta). The difference between the two tasks is substantial, considering theconstraints arising from the presence of the Norman structures, partly reused.

The work that had to be done in Milazzo generates a complex organization and management that does not appear to be harnessed from a rigid geometry (as occurs in the three castles that were previously mentioned) but appears formed by the aggregation of different distinct buildings, recognizable by shape and function, and all ordered according to rational functions and paths. The finishing of the many works started will be arranged by the emperor with the famous Lodigiano Letters of 1239, addressed to Riccardo da lenses).

The parts can be easily listed: the turreted walls, the residential Domus, the greater tower, the large central courtyard, the buildings (the wings) leaning against the walls of the area. A scheme that may appear more antiquated, at least not enough to be called as Frederick’s since is not quite regulated. But by judging in this way, one ends up disregarding the conditions of starting point, a fundamental prerequisite for any design process, to prefer the manner classifications that disregard reality. It must only be recognized that i Frederick's projects starting from different local situations have led to different instructive outcomes.


Terranova C.P. La città murata Dalla visita al "memorabile viaggio.", in Milazzo Nostra n. 28-29 - Marzo - Luglio 2011 p. 24