(just 61,5 km far from Rodia)
It is the best known town of the North East of Sicily. Since the 50’s it has been a glamorous destination and a la page for the most important celebrities. Much of the information on its foundation is uncertain. Originally it was called Tauromenium, which means house on the Taurus (the mountain where it arises). The historian Diodoro attributes the naming of the city to the Sicilians and the Greeks. In the opinion of Pietro Rizzo, who wrote about the history of Tauromenium, it is likely that both Greeks and Sicilians used that name. Existing legends state that the name comes from other sources. One of the symbols of the little town is the minotaur, also represented in old coins, to which the foundation and the name of the town is correlated.
Places to see:
Ancient Theatre: It is the most important and best preserved attraction of Taormina. Built in a wonderful panoramic position, from where the greatness of Etna and the Jonio Sea can be admired. The theatre was rebuilt during the Roman times, more precisely in the II century A.D . In terms of size, the Ancient Theatre is the second all over Sicily after the Greek Theatre of Siracusa. It’s been a long time since the Ancient Theatre represents the marvellous frame for cultural events and international awards.
Cathedral Square: Apart from the Cathedral, where the archiepiscopal venue is, you can also find the Town City Hall looking on the square. A wonderful fountain stands in the centre of the square: it is attributed to one of the last disciples of the florentine Montorsoli. The fountain was built in 1635, above circular steps. The four little fountains on its side are really delightful. Carved on the central spurt is the Minotauro, symbol of Taormina.
Palazzo Corvaja: It arises on the ancient Roman forum. The original unit of the palace was a tower, built by the Arabs between 902 and 1079. The tower had a cubic form, like the Kaba of The Mecca. The current name of the Palace refers to the noble family Corvaja, who lived there until 1945. After many restorations, the Palace was finally renovated in 1946 restored by the architect Armando Dillon
Piazza IX Aprile: It is the most elegant living room of Taormina. The outdoor cafes, together with the artists working on their portraits spread on the square, are so
picturesque. From the balcony everyone can admire the wonderful landscape on Etna, on the Naxos Bay and on the ruins of the Ancient Theatre of Taormina as well. The square was called “Piazza IX Aprile” as a tribute to Giuseppe Garibaldi who conquered Marsala just one month later.
Palazzo Duchi Santo Stefano (Palace of the Dukes of Santo Stefano): This palace was built between the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th. It is a masterpiece of Sicilian Gothic art, anchored in the Arab-Norman age. In the adjacent courtyard, during the summer months, various cultural events are held. This palace is now the headquarters of the Mazzullo Foundation.
Villa Comunale: This public park was originally private and belonged to Lady Florence
Trevelyan Cacciola, a Scottish noblewoman who made Taormina her home in 1884 and married the Mayor of Taormina of that period. These beautiful gardens, named after the Duke of Cesarò, have a wide variety of trees and flowers along with characteristic buildings including ‘The Beehives’, an imaginative pavilion shaped like a beehive. The gardens also offer a spectacular view of Mount Etna and the Ionic coast.
Via Umberto I, also known as Corso Umberto: The main street of Taormina, running from north (Porta Messina) to south (Porta Catania). It is filled with characteristic shops, bars, and stairways leading uphill, making it a charming and enjoyable place at any time of year. Visited by tourists from all over the world, it is a must for those who decide to come to Taormina. Walking along the Corso Umberto from Porta Messina to Porta Catania, you will encounter three beautiful squares: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza IX Aprile and Piazza Duomo.
Isola Bella: Symbol of the beauty of Taormina, in 1984 Isola Bella was declared a natural landmark of historical and artistic interest of special value. The little island is located just off the coast of Taormina, between the Sant’Andrea promontory and Cape Taormina. It has been included in the list of Sites of Community Importance (SIC) because of the presence of vegetation, exotic plants, and patches of Mediterranean scrubland.
Taormina has always offered a lively social programme after dark, especially during the summer season, due to the presence of numerous luxury hotels, disco-bars, pubs and high-profile nightclubs which crowd into the small town centre and extend down to the coast. There are also larger nightclubs, including some with a long history such as Meridien, Morgana and La Giara, and numerous clubs overlooking the small Paladini square as the famous Shatulle Cocktail Bar or DejaVù.
Where to eat in Taormina
|Trattoria da Nino||Casa Giolì||Ristorante La Zagara|
|Via L. Pirandello, 37 – 98039 Taormina||Vico Giordano Bruno, 2 – 98039 Taormina||Via San Pancrazio, 3 – 98039 Taormina|
|+39 0942–21265||+39 0942-683017||+39 0942-23184|
|Ristorante/Pizzeria Villa Zuccaro||Cafè Wunderbar||C&G Cioccolato e Gelato|
|Piazza Carmine, 5 – 98039 Taormina||Piazza IX Aprile, 7 – 98039 Taormina||Piazza S. Antonio, 7 – 98039 Taormina|
|+39 0942–628018||+39 0942-625302||+39 0942-21165|
- 9 July, Festa del Patrono, San Pancrazio (Festival of the Patron Saint, St Pancras). The celebrations include an outdoor procession. In addition to the patron saint, a statue of St. Peter is also brought out in procession. This is because an encounter with Peter persuaded Pancras to convert to Christianity.
- July TaorminaFilmFestival: International film festival and the Silver Ribbon award ceremony, held at the Teatro Antico..