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Sicily Travel Guide

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Taormina, Sicily

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Taormina

Taormina   is one of Sicily's leading tourist destinations. The town cascades down its hill to the beach and its location is uniquely attractive. Taormina is well known for a stunning, well-preserved Greek theater, as well as the quality of its beaches.  Founded in the 4th century B.C., Taormina has several interesting but modest attractions (mainly small palazzos and churches), which are fun to explore.

Somewhat unusually for Sicily,  it is the town and its setting (rather than its history) that act as tourist magnets.  Taormina is well known for its crafts, shopping, restaurants and as a fine place to relax after a tour of the rest of Sicily. Taormina is one of those magical places that attracts people from around the world.  In the past it was a  haven for luminaries of the literary world (Goethe, Oscar Wilde, D. H. Lawrence, etc.,) and more recently the town has become equally attractive to stars of stage and screen.

The best way to explore the Taormina is on foot, as the streets are narrow and crowded. Also, you will have to park your car at a lot outside of town, unless you have booked a hotel with a garage.   The main tourist street for shopping, eating, strolling and drinks is Corso Umberto.

Finally, if you are interested in exploring Mount Etna, the largest volcano in Europe and one of the world's most active, Taormina is a good base for a daytrip.  We suggest that you book with one of the local providers who specialize in tours of Mount Etna.

 


Taormina's ancient Greek Theater is still in use today.

The Greek Theater (Teatro Greco), carved into a hillside at the lower elevations of Taormina, dates from the 3rd century B.C., although it was later altered by the Romans. On a clear day Mount Etna can be seen in  background. The theater, which overlooks the coast and the Golfo di Naxos, is still in use for various productions.

 

Along Taormina's main street, Corso Umberto I, you will find the Piazza 9 Aprile near the Clock Tower (Torre dell'Orologio).  The Piazza provides an ocean view and access to two local churches.  Colorful umbrellas offer some relief for the hot summer sun, while travelers enjoy the spectacular view, the town's pleasant ambiance and good, but leisurely meals.

.Along Corso Umberto I in Taormina

 

Part of the attractiveness of a visit to Taormina is the chance to sample its fine beaches.  Isola Bella (pictured below) is surrounded by a gorgeous bay of the same name and the area is one of Taormina's popular beach areas.  To the north is Mazarrò Bay and beach, another local favorite.  A funicular connects Old Town Taormina with the beaches at Mazzarò

Isola Bella near Taormina

 

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Taormina is known as an art center and you will find reminders of that role almost everywhere you look.

 

 

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