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Established on the side of a mountain and boasting both Greek and Roman history, the coastal town of Taormina is one of the most popular destinations on the island of Sicily. The community blends ancient historical sites and modern amenities such as resorts and boutique shops. Being located on the coast affords the opportunity for plenty of water-based activities.
Taormina Weather: July and August are the hottest summer months with temperatures reaching a high of 28 degrees C, or 83 degrees F. January and February have the coldest winter temperatures that may drop to 5 degrees C, or 41 degrees F.
Regional Cuisine of Taormina: Fava beans, olive oil, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, pastas, fish, shellfish, mutton, pork
Regional Wine of Taormina: Faro DOC, Malvasia delle Lipari DOC, Milazzo DOC
Things to do in Taormina: Anglican Church of Saint George, Baroque fountain, Church of San Domenico, Palazzo Corvaja
Where is Taormina? The community is situated in the Messina province on the eastern coast of Sicily.
I was immediately captivated by the contrast between Taormina’s ruins and elegant boutiques.
Walking around Taormina, I almost forgot I was in a small Sicilian town. At times, the breathtaking sea views were reminiscent of a luxurious resort. But Taormina is more than that. The city’s rich culture is noticeable at every corner. And it’s easy to lose track of time browsing all the colourful boutiques along Corso Umberto.
Then I went to the historic Greek Theatre. Walking around the ruins of a once-flourishing civilization truly made history come to life. Suddenly a woman’s voice startled me. She said she’d been here countless times, but it still doesn’t fail to amaze her. She told me stories from the theatre’s history, and afterwards we explored the Villa Comunale gardens, a hillside botanical garden with winding paths and beautiful views of the sea. I felt like I’d gained a friend for life.
Considered the heart of the community, the plaza was named for the day in 1860 when rumors spread that Garibaldi landed on the shores of Marsala, though he actually arrived a month later. In addition to providing a terraced view over the Ionian Sea, the square features the medieval Church of Saint Agostino, the Baroque Church of San Guiseppe and the 12th-century Torre dell'Orolorgio clock tower.Address: Piazza IX Aprile 1, 98039 Taormina
Beginning at the heart of the city, visitors come face to face with the remains of the old city walls and the majestic Baroque water fountain. In the town center, find the Palazzo Corvaja and the various churches of the community. The palace houses a museum with a collection containing everything from household items to medieval modes of transportation.
A few hundred meters from the North Taormina entrance lies the remains of the ancient Arabian Necropolis. Hiking above the community through a scenic fruit orchard, you’ll encounter the Castel-Mola, which once served as a protective fortress. The Sanctuary of Madonna della Rocca is another point of interest. Don’t forget to explore the ancient theater showcasing both Greek and Roman architectural styles.
Interesting Fact: Taormina is the town that inspired D.H. Lawrence to write Lady Chatterley’s Lover, an extremely passionate novel.
Local Dish: To sweeten up your stay try the granita, a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water, and different flavorings.
Day Trip: Go on a hike around Mt. Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe.
Local Hot Spot: The town’s concert series and the film festival held every summer attract locals, travelers and celebrities alike.
Though Roman in appearance, this ancient Greek theater was thought to have originated during the Hellenistic era in the 3rd century B.C. The site measures 109 meters in diameter and held approximately 10,000 spectators. Since the 1950s, the location has served as an outdoor venue for everything from live concert and theater performances to award ceremonies.Address: Via del Teatro Greco 1, 98039 Taormina
As the community spans a mere 13 square kilometers, or 5 square miles in total, visitors easily travel between Taormina attractions on foot. If desiring to visit nearby locations, inexpensive bus services provide public transportation. Guests might also rent mopeds or scooters to journey about the countryside.
Even though the town is located on the coast of the Ionian Sea, it is elevated 210 meters, or about 670 feet, above sea level. Despite this, Taormina boasts beautiful bays, rocky coves, sandy beaches and picturesque grottos. Visitors and locals alike can experience these natural wonders though a brief cable car ride from the town. Buses are available from many local hotels, and there are a number of private taxi companies if your budget allows.
Resembling a medieval castle, the original building was constructed in 1400 and has a Latin-cross configuration. Inside, three pink marble columns stand on either side of the central nave. The capitals of the columns features leaf and fish carvings representing Arab and Gothic styles. The main entrance of the cathedral has a Renaissance-influenced rose window.Address: Piazza Duomo, 98039 Taormina
Arabs constructed the original structure, which was acquired in the 16th century by the aristocratic Corvaja family. Though it has aspects of a typical medieval fortress, Arab influences remain apparent in the arched doorways and windows. A tower features distinctive Arabic styling. The ornamental balcony rises above the courtyard, and a 13th-century staircase provides access to the castle's first floor.Address: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 98039 Taormina
Constructed during the 14th century, this tower-like structure has dove-tailed battlements that make the building resemble a medieval castle. Lava and white Syracuse stonework creates a frieze, accents each corner and separates the first and second floors. Each mullioned, arched window boasts decorative rosettes. The facility now serves as the community archaeological museum and houses relics from the 4th-century B.C.Address: Via P. Cappuccini, 98039 Taormina
This venue has played various selections of arias and duets taken from famous Italian operas, many of which have been performed by famous professional singers. Some of the past performances have included arias from Mozart's “The Marriage of Figaro, Verdi's “La Traviate, and Puccini's “La Boheme and “Madame Butterfly.†All selections were accompanied by piano. The theater is located behind San Giuseppe church.Address: Via Don Bosco, 98039 Taormina
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