There is a reason that Taormina in Sicily has been called one of Italy’s most beautiful vacation spots, and that it has the nickname “the shining pearl of the east coast.” You can find Taormina near the Ionian Sea, on the spectacular east coast of Sicily. The small town is located in the county of Messina and it is home to about 10,000 people. Messina is about 45 kilometers, while Catania is a little farther away at 60 kilometers.
The town is renowned for its lush vegetation, mild climate, and beautiful landscape. The picturesque old city center is located on Tauro Mountain (Monte Tauro) between the Ionian Sea and the mountains. You can experience a panorama at Taormina that you are not going to find anywhere else in Sicily. You can admire the Etna volcano that lurks ominously in the distance, of admire the unique bay of Giardini Naxos. However, there is far more to enjoy here, and we want to share some of the best things to explore when stay at Taormina.
The beaches at Taormina
One of the largest draws for most tourists is the number of amazing beaches in Taormina. On Taormina Mare (the coast of Taormina), you are able to see some amazingly charming beaches that really invite you to spend some time. If you want to spend your time in Sicily on the beach, some of the nearby coastal villages such as Letojanni and Giardini Naxos are perfect options. You can also travel to the nearby Isola Bella (which directly translated means ‘beautiful island’).
Some of the sights and monuments in Taormina
There are a number of impressive buildings and numerous historical sights to be found in Taormina – perhaps more so than with any other Sicilian city. If you are near the main road (Corso Umberto), you will be able to make it to most of the sights and monuments within walking distance. The city park of Taormina is also more than worth a visit if you are appreciative of nature.
Make sure to visit the Greek Theater
If you are interested in ancient history, how does going all the way back to the third century BC sound? That is when Taormina’s Greek theater was built. Roman rulers have renovated it, and today it is used to hold summer performances. There are some spectacular views and excellent acoustics here. The theater itself was actually built into the hillside.
Regional archaeological museum
You can explore finds from both Roman and Greek sites at the Palazzo Badia Vecchia. This was once a place that held some of the famous Roman baths. Spending some time here will give you a better understanding of the people who once called Taormina home.
See the Medieval Quarter
The clock tower gate is the opening for the picturesque medieval section of Taormina. There are old shops that have souvenirs, crafts, or modern clothing, or you can just spend your time browsing through the narrow streets.
The Corso Umberto
The Corso Umberto runs through the entire town and it is known as the lively main street. There are bars and shops alongside and you are able to spend an entire afternoon here just people watching. If you want some amazing sea views, we highly recommend that you take a moment and go to the square that is called Piazza IX Aprile.
Piazza del Duomo
The symbol of Taormina is a centaur, and here at this Piazza, you can find a Baroque fountain with such a creature represented. The heart of the Piazza del Duomo is home to this spectacular masterpiece. The fortress cathedral, otherwise known as the Church of San Nicola, was built over an older church in the 1400s. There are some very interesting carvings here and there are pink marble columns. In 1636, the main portal to the church was rebuilt, and the rosette has a very distinct Renaissance look to it.
The best place to stay in Taormina – Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea
If you are looking for a luxury vacation, you need to make sure that you cover yourself in luxury. Overlooking the aquamarine sea, you can experience life on one of Italy’s most beautiful coastlines. The Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea has its own exclusive beach and many other benefits.
The hotel was originally built by an aristocratic family in 1830s. It was erected amidst lush, subtropical gardens. Guests are going to feel as though they are living in a private residence, the retreat is that secluded. Fortunately, it takes only a three-minute cable car ride to get to the heart of Taormina.
Because of its location near the Bay of Mazzarò, the hotel has the ideal location within the seaside district of Taormina. Guests are able to enjoy the dazzling Mediterranean Sea, the subtropical gardens, and still be close enough to the cafes, bars, and shops of central Taormina. Luxury stays in Taormina simply do not get better than this.