Surroundings: Appartamenti in Agriturismo near Messina in Sicilia, Gioiosa Marea

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The landscape: the Borgo and surrounding area is located in the hills of the Tyrrhenian coast in Contrada San Franceso in the town of Gioiosa Marea (province of Messina) 300 meters above sea level. It is in one of the oldest settlements in the territory of Gioiosa Marea, which is known for its many settlements spread out along its panoramic, jagged hills. In this area there is a vast variety of natural environments concentrated among an area of about 20 square kilometers quickly rising from sea level to a height of 1000 meters. Being the greenest area of Sicily, green is everywhere. Not only along the sloping hills but also in the valleys. This leaves one truly amazed at the variety of flora: Mediterranean vegetation, forrests of oak trees, chestnut trees and evergreens, citrus and olive groves, different types of palm trees and colorful flowers of every kind.

The Sea and the Coast: the Northern coastline of Sicily is everchanging with its stretches of rocky cliffs overhanging the sea and stretches of pebbled beaches. This alternation of heights and plains creates breathtaking views which allows you to experience the sea with intensity The sea is a truly spectacular sight with every shade of blue. What makes this coastline so unique and breathtaking is that while the water is truly deep it is at the same time transparent and allows you to see to the sea's very depths. The warm waters in the summer months are almost always calm, with inlets where the waters are calm even in bad weather. From the shore line there is usually a very rapid descent, while in sandy areas there is a more gradual descent. For those who love snorkeling you can lose yourself among the rocky outcrops and the wide spread prairies of algae on the sandy sea floor. The Climate: this area is characterized by the typical mediterranean climate due to its astronomical and geographical position. The summers are hot and dry, never humid. The winters are very mild. The climate of the area is under the direct influence of the warm sea front with very little temperature differences between night and day. Some interesting statistics on the weather: the month with most rain is December; the month with the least rain is July; the hottest month is August with an average of 25°C; the coldest month is January with 11°C; the annual temperatures are 17°C.

The History: Gioiosa Marea, the small smiling beach town, owes its beginnings to Gioiosa Guardia, an antique farming community founded in 1364 at a height of 828 meters above sea level. From the ruins of the old town center, it is still possible to see as far as Monte Pellegrino (Palermo), the Eolian Islands, Capo Milazzo, the Calabrian coastline and the Nebrodi Park all the way to Mount Etna. Her strategic location was very important in her history. As a point of observation or of "Guardia" from which it got its name, it was very important for the defense of its population from the continued raids of Saracen Pirates. The town continued to grow until 1693, the year of the first strong earthquake, that caused the first real damage to the community of Gioiosa Guardia. As a result of the damage caused by earthquakes (in 1738 strong seismic events were recorded), a plan began for the moving of the town to another place. The deciding push for the exodus was given by the earthquake of 1783 that leveled the town. The famine and the invasion of locusts the following year also contributed. The choice of a new site was the present Gioiosa Marea that took its name from its new location by the sea. Starting in 1788 the new town was settled.

Festivals and Traditions: this area is rich in tradition. Throughout the year there are many festivals and feast days (sagre). Some celebrations are of religious nature, especially near Christmas and Easter. Every town has it’s own festival, therefore there is almost always someone celebrating something. You can always stop by our reception desk and find out what is going on in the area. We have all the information you need for the Greek Theatres of Taormina and Tindari and most events that cover the whole Nebrodi area and beyond. You are welcome to use our library which offers materials on the artistic, archeological and natural aspects of the area and island. It may help you decide what museums or places you would like to visit beforehand.