Something Unusual at Bar Turrisi in Castelmola, Sicily

Bar Turrisi in Castelmola, Sicily is a unique, ‘cultural’ experience which left me pretty much in hysterics. From the outside this bar (near Taormina on a high hilltop) looks quite pleasant with its multiple balconies and red sun umbrellas pushing towards the sky. But from the minute you clutch the handle of the side door it dawns on you that this bar is a tad bit different from other Sicilian ones.

A walk up the few stairs at the entrance further entrenches this thought.

Sculptures of males with truly massive ‘private’ parts adorn every possible space inside this bar. In fact, even when you take a seat at the big table upstairs you are presented with a wooden phallus so large that you may encounter problems placing your glass (or anything else for that matter) on the table [jokes].

Moreover, those who dare to look down whilst seated may find themselves clutching onto phallic-shaped armrests with feet firmly placed atop the matching patterned floor.

And should you find yourself trying to steal a look away from the many replicas of male genitalia, you too will be confronted once again by its shape on wall art and sculptures. Even the three legged symbol of the city which hangs on a wall (pictured below) has also been adapted to fit the theme of Bar Turrisi.

Moreover, should a fire ignite from one of the characteristic ‘shaft’ ceiling lamps during your visit – do not fear…

For a fire hydrant is most definitely near…

At the end of your tour, once you have viewed the wooden and ceramic phalli, be sure to sample the bar’s famous and deliciously sweet almond wine to digest the experience (if you like sweet things of course) and, as expected, the wine comes ‘packaged’ accordingly (above right).

There is no doubt that Bar Turrisi is a talking point for tourists and locals. But upon visiting, one has to wonder about its location – in close proximity to the local church. I take it that they needed some entertainment high up that hill in the little village that is Castelmola.


Elizabeth Joss

Elizabeth Joss is the founder and main writer at The Museum Times. She works as a university lecturer by day and is an avid travel blogger and arts and culture enthusiast by night. Elizabeth started The Museum Times out of the need to give smaller, lesser-known museums more exposure.

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