Taormina is located on the west coast of Sicily just 60 km from Catania airport, in a very panoramic position.
It can be defined as a Sicilian Monte Carlo, without the casino or royal family. But anybody who has been to Monte Carlo, or even Positano (on the Amalfitan coast south of Naples), will discover that Taormina does have some similarities yet is very different.
It has long been Sicily’s most famous resort. Taormina has an intricacy of winding mediaeval streets and narrow alleys, each with its own secrets, great restaurants, cafés and ice cream bars. Taormina is beautiful by day but in the evening its atmosphere is simply enchanting, whether you stroll the illuminated streets or indulge in the view of the coast over a delicious dinner.
Then there’s the rarer spectacle of Mount Etna’s nocturnal fires as lava flows along the snow-covered slopes of Europe’s greatest natural wonder, leaving volumes of steam and fiery light in its wake. Within its eternal stone walls, ancient Taormina has fascinating archaeological monuments and mediaeval homes.
A magnificent views of the sea complete the picture. The most famous is the view overlooking the Greek-Roman Theatre, one of Sicily’s largest, with Mount Etna and the sea as backdrop.
Corso Umberto I: the “living room of the city”, pedestrian and shopping area, with plenty of bars and restaurants. The “beating heart “ of the city.
Greek–Roman Theatre: an archaeological monument of incomparable beauty. Located in a raised position above the city, it offers a breathtaking view of the east coast and Mount Etna.
Public garden: belonged to a noble English lady, today it is a botanical garden with original red brick buildings. The story tells that the English Lady wish to taste her tea in Chinese pagodas, but the local workers, not able to understand English language, did not understand the request. It can be said that these curious constructions are the result of a language misunderstanding
Corvaja Palace: the palace has Arab origins and over the centuries has been enlarged several times, and today it is a wonderful example of how different styles can give rise to such a fascinating construction.
Dom square and St Nicola Cathedral: the cathedral stands right on Corso Umberto. Built in 1400, it has a very simple and austere architecture. The facade is in stone and the interior is in the shape of a Latin cross formed by three naves and three apses. In the centre of Piazza Duomo there is the famous fountain with the small horses and at the top the symbol of the city: the crowned “centauressa”.
Duchi di Santo Stefano Palace: a true masterpiece of Sicilian Gothic. Built around 1300, it shows wonderful Arab and Norman elements. Today the palace is used for weddings and also hosts artistic exhibitions.
Bella Island: it is a small island that, according to sea conditions, is joined to the mainland through an isthmus of sand. It is located in the middle of the most panoramic bay of the coast. It belonged to an ancient Sicilian noble family that in the 50s, hosted the most famous personalities of cinema and politics. Sophia Loren and Rock Hudson, have been guests many times. Since 1998, the islet has become a nature reserve.
IX Aprile Square: the “belvedere” of the city. It is the main square which looks like a suspended terrace overlooking the sea. Framed by: the clock tower, the baroque church, the ancient church of Sant’Agostino (today the city-library) and the long railing overlooking the coast with a splendid view of the sea and Mount Etna.