Capo Milazzo is a natural hidden gem on the island of Sicily in Italy. Featuring the Pool of Venus (Piscina di Venere), an extraordinary rock pool, the picturesque promontory and marine protected area (Area Marina Protetta; AMP Capo Milazzo) remains a somewhat unknown quantity to tourists. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about visiting Capo Milazzo and the breathtaking Pool of Venus.
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Visit Capo Milazzo (Cape Milazzo)
Despite its superb natural beauty, Capo Milazzo (AKA Capo di Milazzo) isn’t explored by many tourists. Sure, many people will go to Milazzo Port to catch a ferry to the well-known Aeolian Islands. But, not many people will venture further north of the port to explore the naturally beautiful promontory of Capo Milazzo, which juts out into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Near the northernmost point of Capo Milazzo, you’ll find an outstanding natural attraction called the Pool of Venus (Piscina di Venere, in Italian).
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Pool of Venus (AKA Piscina di Venere AMP Capo Milazzo)
The Pool of Venus is a genuinely amazing natural rock pool found at Capo Milazzo, Sicily. By doing a short walk, you can easily reach the spectacular Pool of Venus. In the process, you’ll pass by some other worthwhile attractions at the northern tip of Capo Milazzo.
Before we talk about this walk in more detail, let’s look at exactly where the Pool of Venus and Capo Milazzo is located in Sicily.
Where Is Capo Milazzo in Sicily?
Capo Milazzo is located on the northeast coast of Sicily, near Messina. To help you get your bearings, feel free to click on the image below to access an interactive map on Google Maps.
Exploring Capo Milazzo By Foot
Basically, there are two main Capo Milazzo walking routes, which involve visiting the Pool of Venus. The simplest option is an easy 2.2km out and back walk from the main Capo Milazzo parking area. Personally, Beck and I did a slightly longer 2.9km circular walk, also starting from the main parking area, which involved exploring more of the coastline. Unexpectedly, when completing the circular route, we did arrive at a fence, which, was easy enough to jump. But, because of this, we suspect that the circular walk isn’t an official route option.
If you want to stick to the official path, then we recommend doing the out and back walk. If you want to explore more of the coast and don’t mind the moral dilemma, then we recommend the circular walk. Perhaps, if we had known about the fence, we would have simply completed the out and back route. But, as we had no idea before setting off, we had to make do with jumping a small fence during the circular route. That’s the walk we’ll describe below.
From near the main parking area, we briefly followed the road, before descending a paved ramp. The ramp soon transitioned into a fairly overgrown dusty trail following alongside and adjacent to the water. Along this trail, we enjoyed stellar views of the Capo Milazzo coastline. Soon, we arrived at a sand-free pebble beach. After briefly walking along the beach, the trail ascends, before arriving at Torre del Palombaro (Palombaro Tower). We explored the ruins of the old watchtower.
After scoping out the old watchtower, we joined a sharply ascending trail, which eventually joined the official path. This trail eventually leads you down a series of steps, guiding you to the stunning Pool of Venus.
Reaching the Awesome Pool of Venus
Undoubtedly, the Pool of Venus is the highlight of the walk around Capo Milazzo. The gorgeous natural rock pool makes for the perfect place to swim in the heat of summer. Around the corner from the Pool of Venus, you’ll find some side trails, leading to other areas of the coast, where you’ll find other viewpoints and even monuments.
Once you’ve explored the Pool of Venus, it’s time to return to the parking area. Walking by wildflowers, cacti and olive trees, you’ll soon pass near Faro di Capo Milazzo (Capo Milazzo Lighthouse). Near the parking area, you’ll find another attraction. Santuario Sant’Antonio di Capo Milazzo (AKA Chiesa di S. Antonio) is a small church built inside a cave, which is free to enter. Certainly, it’s very reminiscent of Santuario di Santa Rosalia on Monte Pellegrino.
After seeing the church, you’ll simply return to the parking area to complete the walk.
Where to Visit Nearby in Milazzo
Other than Capo Milazzo and the Pool of Venus, there are other places to see and things to do in Milazzo, Sicily. In particular, there are two other main attractions on the promontory. Let’s have a look at these attractions below.
Castle of Milazzo and the MuMa Museo del Mare
The medieval-walled Milazzo old town is home to the impressive Castle of Milazzo (Castello di Milazzo). It’s an acropolis that was built on top of ruins that date back to the Neolithic era. It’s actually the largest fortified citadel in Sicily.
Indeed, wandering along the defensive towers and bastions is a fantastic way to experience more of Capo Milazzo. At the castle, you’ll also find MuMa Museo del Mare (Museum of the Sea). It’s an interactive museum with science-based installations. If you want to learn more about the area, we highly recommend visiting.
Planeta’s La Baronia
La Baronia is a well-known seaside Milazzo winery owned by the wine-making Planeta family. The family owns five estates in Sicily, but, perhaps, La Baronia is the most beautifully located. The winery is well-known for two main wines – Mamertino and Nocer. Indeed, if time allows, stop in at this awesome winery on Capo Milazzo.
How to Get to Capo Milazzo
The easiest and quickest way to get to Capo Milazzo is to drive there yourself. Thankfully, you’ll find free parking in the main parking area.
If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car. Personally, Beck and I picked up our car hire from Catania International Airport. For an automatic car, we only paid around €7 ($7USD) per day!
If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.
It’s also possible to get to Capo Milazzo using public transport. Although, it’s less straightforward. Basically, it’s simple enough to reach Milazzo, by getting a train from Messina or from Catania via Messina. We recommend using Trainline to reliably book train tickets in advance. Once you get to Milazzo, you’ll have to rely on the local AST bus to get you up to Capo Milazzo. The latest timetable can be found here.
Skyscanner is our go-to website for booking flights. If you’re looking to find the cheapest flights, we recommend getting the ball rolling with a Skyscanner search. It allows you to scan all airlines and platforms to find the cheapest airfares.
What to Wear and Pack
These are our gear essentials for hiking at Capo Milazzo and swimming in the Pool of Venus.
Osprey Skarab 30
The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.
BUFF Original Ecostretch
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.
To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.
Bonus Tips and Things to Do
- Day trip from Messina: if you’re thinking of visiting Capo Milazzo on a day trip, it’s best to do so from Messina. You’re looking at an extremely long day trip if visiting from Catania.
- Other natural protected areas in Sicily: the Egadi Islands is another beautiful area that’s naturally protected. We highly recommend visiting Favignana, which is the largest of the Egadi Islands and is home to many spectacular beaches.
- Aeolian Islands: after exploring Capo Milazzo, will you head to the Aeolian Islands? To reach these islands, you’ll need to first head to Milazzo. So, it makes sense to visit these islands whilst being in the area. Of course, one of the most popular activities in the Aeolian Islands is the Sunset Trekking Tour at Sciara del Fuoco on Stromboli.
Read our guide about the 13 best hikes in Sicily.