Taormina

Taormina is among the most important tourist destinations in Eastern Sicily. Halfway between Messina and Catania, it is located on a promontory 200m above sea level and overlooks both the Etnean and the Messina sides.

taormina veduta dall'alto foto taobook

The Corso Umberto is the main attraction of the city because it is right along this pedestrian street that most of the things to see are to be found. Churches, clock tower, IX April square from which to enjoy the view over the bay of Giardini-Naxos and Etna, the shops, bars and restaurants. The Corso Umberto for the locals is the place where social life develops, where to walk or sit in bars to chat more and less. From the course you can access numerous small side streets that offer new and interesting views.

At the end of Corso Umberto, from the Messina port side,  starts via teatro Greco which leads to the homonymous ancient theater, the second largest in Sicily but the only one to have a view that starts from the bay below and reaches the top of Mount Etna. It also represents the stage for various events including concerts that over time have seen leading players on the national and world music scene.

Facing the Greek theater climb there is the Teatrino Romano climb which takes its name from the  little Roman theatre, Odeon, which is located at the end of it on the left behind the Church of St. Catherine. In addition to churches and monuments it is advisable to take a tour in the streets of the old Greco-Roman center or via Timoleone, via di Giovanni, via Giardinazzo, via Teocle, via Crupi etcc.. From these streets it is then possible, lengthening a bit of road, to reach the Villa Comunale known for its panorama and for its avenues that run and intertwine between flower beds and small groves.

Created by Lady Florence Trevelyan as a park in her own home, it was donated to the Municipality of Taormina. Different are the distinctive elements of the Villa  multi layer structures, of particular beauty, scattered inside the fish tanks, from the cages for the beech trees to the benches set among the hedges. A small portion of the villa is surrounded of small locales stone monoliths which, according to some testimonies, was built with symbologies typical of Stonage. Inside the villa it will seem to be in another place.

To complete, but not to finish what there is to see in Taormina, there is Madonna Rocca the place of the Saracen Castle, closed to the public, where to get a view on historical center of Taormina. There you find Madonna Rocca Church in part built inside the rock.

This is a non-exhaustive list of what there is to see:

    1. Church of S. Antonio Abate in porta Catania
    2. Cathedral piazza quattro fontane
    3. Church of Carmine now deconsecrated and place for exhibitions
    4. Church of S. Michele Arcangelo near S. Domenico
    5. Duchi di S. Stefano palace
    6. Badia Vecchia
    7. Ciampoli palace
    8. Church of Varò
    9. IX Aprile square
    10. Municipality library
    11. Church of S. Giuseppe
    12. Le Naumachie
    13. Taormina public garden
    14. Church of S. Caterina
    15. Odeon o Roman little theater
    16. V. Emanuele square where was ancient Agorà today nonexistent
    17. Greek-Roman theater
    18. Belvedere square a panoramic view on Isola Bella
    19. Church of S. Antonio in Cappuccini
    20. ruins of ancient thermal bath in S. Pancrazio square
    21. Church of S. Pancrazio
    22. Church of Madonna della Rocca above Taormina