Bar di Turrisi: A Fertility Restaurant in Castelmola, Sicily

Bar di Turrisi: A Fertility Restaurant in Castelmola, Sicily

Bar di Turrisi — a three-story ancient restaurant/bar — dates back to 1947 is covered in phallic decor which symbolizes fertility.


Bar di Turrisi: A Fertility Restaurant in Castelmola, Sicily


Many years ago, before I met Scott, I befriended an Italian boy while traveling in Taormina, Sicily who insisted he take me to dinner. I wasn’t interested in this boy romantically, but since I was traveling through Europe alone, a dinner with a new friend is a welcome surprise any night. Little did I know, I was in for quite a different type of surprise.

Antoniu, my date, insisted we go to a beautiful village perched above Taormina, called Castelmola. We arrived at Bar di Turrisi, a three-story ancient restaurant/bar which dates back to 1947 and has been passed from generation to generation.

As I entered the ristorante, my eyes had to adjust slightly to the dim lighting. The room was crowded with Sicilians enjoying their food and drinks. Antoniu spoke to one of the staff members of the bar in Sicilian and before I knew it we were being led up a winding staircase to a table on the rooftop with stunning views of the coast and Mount Etna.

As we walked through the restaurant, I did a double take once I realized the decor that covered every inch of the place. Phallus images of every size, shape and color are placed on counter-tops, carved into stair hand railings and chairs, hung on the walls and drawn on the menus. You can even wash your hands under a faucet shaped like a male member when you use the bathroom.

The decoration decisions of Bar di Turrisi did not come about because the owners are sex-addicts. Instead, there is actually some meaning behind it. The phallic decor symbolizes fertility. To quote the owner of the bar, “Having had three sons within five years, there was one particular symbol that could represent it all.” Amen, brother.

After you are done going photo crazy so you can show all your friends what a weird place you visited in Sicily, don’t forget to try the local specialty of almond flavored wine. Their pasta dishes are delicious too.

It is said that Castelmola is rarely visited by non-Sicilians, so I felt lucky to have visited such a unique place.

Read more: 10 Places You Must See in Italy


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  1. Kerry-Ann says:

    What a strange place. One of the coolest things about travelling and exploring is finding all those ‘off the beaten track’ wierd and wonderful things.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      So true. I don’t know too many people who have been to a restaurant like this. It’s even funnier to me that my date didn’t warn me.

  2. Cathy Sweeney says:

    Unique! How fun that you got to see this place. But I do wonder what your friend’s real intentions were. 🙂

  3. Nancie (Ladyexpat) says:

    What an experience! and especially since it was a complete surprise. Love the photo. 

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

       Haha. I was going to put the actual photo up, but Scott thought it would be funny to put a smiley face. Maybe it’s better to not have our site listed as “adult theme”. 🙂

  4. I’d like to see this restaurant. Just for the almond wine, of course.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Hehe. Of course. I hear if you buy a bottle of the almond wine that it comes shaped like a penis. If I had known that at the time I would have bought a ton and sent them home as gifts. 

  5. Lisa Overman says:

    Wow, that would have been quite a shock, especially with a guy you just met. It’s especially cool since it is really a very local destination. Those can be some of the best memories and places to dine.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I agree. I would definitely go back the next time I’m in Sicily. Maybe I’ll get some better photos next time. 🙂

  6. Matthew Karsten says:

    Where is the female-themed fertility restaurant?

  7. John in France says:

    I’m a little worried about what was on the menu?!!!!!!

    1. It’s probably not what’s on the menu that’s a problem, it’s what happens in the kitchen.

  8. Christy this is too funny! I can’t say that I’ve been any where like this!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Now you really want to go, don’t you?! 🙂

  9. Very interesting.  I guess you had no question what your date was hoping for after taking you there 🙂  In Bangkok, there is a restaurant called “Cabbages and Condoms.”  Instead of getting a mint after dinner, guests receive a condom.  It is actually part of an AIDS awareness and prevention thing, rather than a sex thing as well.  I used to always take out of town visitors there and they always got a kick out of it.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Actually, I hadn’t even thought about it. Is that weird? It didn’t make me uncomfortable at all.

  10. Dave and Deb says:

    What an awesome restaurant. I can’t say that we’ve ever dined in a place so interesting. Good to hear that the food was good too!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Yes, the food was delicious. Although, I don’t think I had a bad meal the entire time I was in Sicily. 🙂

  11. The Travel Chica says:

    Unfortunately I have not encountered something this interesting in my travels, but I hope I do soon.  How funny!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Maybe they have something like this in Argentina.

  12. Debbie Beardsley says:

    The decor of this restaurant sounds crazy!  The thoughts that must have been running through your mind 🙂

  13. Geert @ Inspiring Travellers says:

    How bizarre – that wouldn’t be too appetizing to me!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      It is a little bizarre to put that sort of stuff in a place where people eat, isn’t it? 

  14. This is a very interesting and unusual place to have dinner, maybe a little embarrassing on a first date 😛

  15. Michael Hodson says:

    I love that you censored the photo!!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      That was all Scott’s doing. I love the smiley face he made. haha

  16. suzyguese says:

    I have actually been to Castelmola, but not this restaurant. It sounds like an interesting one to say the least. The Italians and their fertility symbols seem to be all over the south of Italy!

  17. Juan @ Blue Suager Coupons says:

    Well you know, experiences like this make traveling unforgettable.

  18. Annie @ Wayward Traveller says:

    I love that you got this experience when you were in Italy. The places that are full of locals are truly the best! 

    You have to admit the penis this is just funny! 🙂 

  19. yTravelBlog says:

    Sounds like a very cool place to experience eating. WE know what was on his mind.

  20. Ummm this is hilarious! I love it… I would totally go. 

  21. Alana Calafiore says:

    I was in Sicily in June, The last full day of the trip was spent in Taormina, and This bar was the last stop we made that day.

  22. Dina VagabondQuest says:

    I totally can’t tell what’s behind that censor face!

  23. Candicewalsh says:

    Ooh my, I’d be blushing! Awesome story though.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      It’s so weird that I don’t remember being embarrassed or uncomfortable.

  24. Rease Kirchner says:

    Penis faucets? That’s just madness.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      HA! Oh, come on, Rease. You know you want to have one installed in your apartment now.

  25. I love discovering pagan and historical connections to modern life.  Learning about Priapus, and seeing the fresco at the House of the Vettii, in Pompeii was a similar experience for me.  Now that I live in Ireland, finding bits and pieces about Celtic-style fertility rituals, which were often assimilated into and modified by the Catholic church, is another part of the fun!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Sounds interesting, Katrina. This is my only experience with something like this.