Taormina is a beautiful hilltop city that offers many charming places where you can admire the Sicilian islands, with wide landscapes and a mountain. Etna serves as the backdrop.
Gate of Taormina. At this arched stone gate you can enjoy a mixture of antiquity and modern Taormina noise. Here you can also take a walk along Corso Umberto, the main pedestrian street , and walk to the Piazza Aprile panoramic square. Porta Messina is one of the 2 portals of the once fortified city, the other is Porta Catania, which is located about 800 meters at the southwest end of Corso. The blue Interbus from the train station takes you to Port Messina.
The lonely but magnificent structure of the 10th century. This grandiose medieval stone building, similar to a fortress, is just a few minutes walk from Port Messina. It has a courtyard with old Christian reliefs and arched windows with little Arabic influence. The Palazzo Corvaya now functions as a museum and art gallery , often hosting exhibitions of paintings and multimedia. Outside, it stands large and tall, retaining most of its ancient architectural features - unlike the surrounding modern buildings in the square. This partly makes it popular for pre-holiday filming.
From any of the 2 stone portals of the city, you will find yourself walking along the pedestrian shopping street of Corso Umberto. This is a pleasant, cobbled route covered with flowers, but it can be quite crowded in the summer. There are many cafes along the street where you can sit and have a coffee. Specialty stores range from fashion to jewelry , while most have souvenir showcases. It is charming for tour groups.
Halfway down Corso Umberto, you will see this spacious and beautifully tiled square. This can give you a break and relief on a usually crowded street as a bonus. From the south side of the square you can admire the stunning sea views of the Ionian Sea. Other sides are bordered by historical sites , namely the Baroque church of San Giuseppe, the Church of St. Augustine and the striking castle tower with a clock. The area is magnificent both day and night.
The ancient Taormina Theater (Greek Theater) is a 6-minute drive from Port Messina, amid the picturesque landscapes of the Ionian Sea with silhouettes of Mount Etna. This is a wonderful sight in itself, in which there is an unspoiled stadium, terraces and preserved stone walls, as well as the ruins of an ancient temple and large columns of the stage. Various operas , as well as shows and concerts , are still held here . Tickets start at 10 euros, but admission is free if you arrive on the first Sunday of the month.
If you are looking for tranquility to enjoy stunning sea views in Taormina, head to this small park, which is about a 4-minute walk from Piazza IX Aprile. The beautiful Giardini della Villa Comunale offers quiet and lazy walks away from the usual crowds . Manicured gardens are decorated with bronze sculptures and fountains among flower beds and shrubs, and paths along the edge of the cliff allow you to enjoy views of the bay and some parts of the coastal city below. The garden is open to the public.
A fun way to enjoy an aerial view of the city and its sea landscape is on the Taormina cable car. It connects the historic city center with the coastal area of neighboring Mazzaro. One way tickets start at 3 euros and you can sit down every 15 minutes. Besides enjoying a steady ride with great aerial views, after arriving in Mazzaro you can also easily get to the idyllic islet and Isola Bella Beach10 minutes walk on Via Nazionale. Go to Isola Bella Beach if you want to spend some time soaking up the rays or swimming in the calm blue waters of the Ionian Sea. The beach forms a natural road at low tide, connecting with the rocky limestone island of the same name. It is beautiful, but gravel, with coarse pebbles and almost no sand. Most beaches are public, where you can rent sun loungers. You can also find a natural museum to learn more about the history of the beach.
Panoramas of a 17th-century church built in rock. This historic chapel is built in the rocks above the city. Scenic views from the steep cliff overlook the Greek theater and bay. It is quiet and peaceful, offering a quiet holiday away from the city crowd below . Most buses from the city stop here on their way to the neighboring commune of Castelmola, and you can even go up the steps from Corso Umberto (but don't forget about your sunscreen and drinking water in the summer).
Enjoy authentic Mediterranean cuisine with stunning mountain views: Etna and Castelmola in the popular Al Saraceno restaurant, located just a short walk west of Santario Madonna della Rocca. Among seafood dishes, you can try their sweet and sour sardines in the Beccafico style, which are served with pine nuts, raisins, eggs and parmesan (about 15 euros). The menu also lists dishes for meat lovers , as well as homemade pizza. Sunsets are magical from the outdoor terrace, but they can get quite fresh (blankets are often provided as a good gesture).
The Taormina Opera House presents classic pieces from Madame Butterfly to Bohemia performed by a troupe of professional singers and pianists. Tickets cost around 10 euros, which also gives you a glass of Prosecco wine offered during the break of the show on their picturesque rooftop terrace. You can also visit Taormina Arte, urban art and cultural events, operas such as the Barber of Seville, musicals, sopranos and dance events. This often happens in the summer months from June to September at venues that include the Greek Theater.
Reggio Calabria 48.99 km: Tito Menniti Airport (REG)
Catania, Sicilia 55.6 km: Fontanarossa Airport (CTA)
Castellana, Sicilia 70.54 km: NAS Sigonella Airport (NSY)
There is a direct night train from Rome - it takes about 10 hours to get there.
And from Catania (Catania Centrale station) to Taormina (Taormina-Giardini station) can be reached by regional train in 40 minutes