Many years ago Taormina was protected by a circle of walls with a triple fortification system, which is located on the north side when you look towards Messina. Continues to the north-east direction and ends in the west on the side facing towards Catania. Traces of these walls can still be seen today in the city center of the town where the clock-tower stands, also at the two furthest ends of the town entrances, commonly called Porta di Messina and Porta di Catania.
Porta Messina, restored at the beginning of the 19th century, was named Porta Ferdinanda st the time it was opened in 1808 by Ferdinand IV of Bourbon. There is a tablet where it’s engraved the occasion. Porta di Catania on the other hand is the end result of various changes and restorations, the last of which were performed in 1440 by the Aragonese.