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Casa Cifali

  • Writer's pictureMassimo

The Mysteries of Le Naumachie -

One of the steps that lead to the Corso Umberto are the Naumachie steps. Down these steps, there is a small rectangular garden. On the left side of this garden is a wall 122 m

eters long that is made from brick and large square stones. These stones compose the base of this artifact, dating back to Roman times. There is not much information about how this structure was originally used. There are many theories, but nothing is known for certain. One of the most famous historians from Taormina, Ciccio Cipolla, described this place as an enormous water cistern. At the bottom of the cistern was the cantina. Ground was added above to build a terrace, then the houses were built above that. This was the structure that supported all the homes. The water came from another cistern located in via Cappuccini which now houses Taormina’s elementary school. The pipes from this cistern go underground and refill the Naumachie cistern, supplying water to the city. Filippo d’Orville inappropriately named this space “Naumachia” because there is another wall that seemed to enclose the space, making it look l

ike a large pool or bath. Others have suggested that the space was a large gym. Today, it is unknown exactly how the space was used as it has been covered/added to by other cultures over the centuries just like the steps that connect it to the Corso Umberto. B&B in Taormina

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