In the hidden romantic town of Taormina, Sicily known for its turquoise beaches, quaint shops, and views of Mount Etna, lies a curious and unsuspecting restaurant known as Bar Turrisi. The locals will tell you only that it is the “world’s strangest” or “most interesting” bar– and a must-see when in Taormina.
At the top of Castelmola, a province of the area, up the stairs, past the beautiful ocean view, guests are struck with statues, candle holders, centrepieces that are shaped like … male genitalia.
That’s right, the sculptures, mirrors lamps, chair arms, and more are massive private parts stuffed in every nook and cranny of the place become more and more apparent the closer you look and with each step you take.
The bar, famous for its almond wine, was passed from generation to generation and finally into the hands of Peppino who decided to refurbish the bar with his wife in 1975. Having no real defining characteristic, the couple thought of what represented them most– their five sons– and so, just like that, the penis became the defining symbol of Bar Turrisi.
In the beginning, many of the people in town disapproved of the phallic décor that consumed Bar Turrisi, but as time passed and more travellers came to see the “strangest bar in the world,” it became a famous landmark for Castelmola.
The symbolism of the penis together with art of nude men, and classic Sicilian crafts actually became a unique and positive representation of local culture.
The bar serves food and drinks daily, and is especially popular in the summer combined with their excellent view of the sea.