Things to do
Three day itinerary
- Once you set your foot in Taormina, the enchanting and intriguing atmosphere that’s been luring tourists from across the globe for decades, will entice you. Situated on a hilltop called Monte Tauro, Taormina features two amazing and luxurious bays below and to the southern side, it’s the Mount Etna, highest and most active European volcano, often covered with white snow, giving viewers a spectacular view overlooking about a hundred miles of the Mediterranean Sea.
Not only now, even centuries ago, Taormina was a place of attraction, owing to its gifted location, enchanting atmosphere and pleasant climate. This is further reiterated by the ancient people who chose this as their residential country, including the likes of Greeks, Sicels, Byzantines, Arabs, Romans, Saracens, Spaniards and Normans.
To date, tourists can get a glimpse of Taormina’s golden past, thanks to the monuments like the 13th century Cathedral of Saint Nicolò, the luxurious Greek Theatre, the Roman “Naumachiae”, the 16th century Palace of the Dukes of Saint Stefano, the 14th century Palazzo Corvaja, the “Badia Vecchia” (an Ancient Abbey), the public gardens, etc.
Originally made popular by the German artists’ trio in 1787, it was J.W. Goethe who discovered the scenic beauty of Sicily, particularly, Taormina. In his renowned novel, “Italian Journey”, he details his experiences and spectacular beauty and culture of Taormina. He further adds Taormina is a “patch of paradise”.
It was the German painter Otto Geleng, who drew more interest towards Parisan art galleries by making his paintings on this picturesque location. Another young Prussian photographer Wilhelm Von Gloeden followed his suit and relocated to Taormina in 1880. Then, he came up with renowned art work that became popular with European cultural clubs, which features aesthetic portraits of nude sheperd boys against the Etna Volcano’s backdrop.
Ever since then, several celebrities and renowned personalities toured Taormina and said it was their “escapade place” away from the bustling city lifestyle.
- Patrik BrydoneD.H. Lawrence, Truman Capote, Alexander Dumas, Anatole France, Andrè Gide, Paul Klee, Guy de Maupassant, Luigi Pirandello, John Steinbeck, Gustav Klimt, Elio Vittorini, Oscar Wilde, Richard Wagner and Johannes Brahms have all been here. Recently, theatre, movies and music celebrities including Ingmar Bergmann, Francis Ford Coppola, Leonard Bergman, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Federico Fellini, Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, Gregory Peck, Marcello Mastroianni, Elisabeth Taylor and Woody Allen have all enjoyed their visit this beautiful Mediterranean pearl.
The year 1874 saw the first ever hotel in Taormina and ever since, there’s been no turning back. It has grown to become the top tourist destination, across the globe and continues to lure visitors owing to the perfect combination of charming atmosphere, historic relics and monumental buildings that stand as a reminder of historic culture and tradition, lively people and living style and close to nature surroundings.
There are several tourist attractions including painting exhibitions that are held in local palazzi and churches, top class art performances at the Greek theatre, numerous luxurious and renowned shopping centers, classical music cafes and pastry shops along “Corso Umberto”, local art museums, scenic and breathtaking surroundings, beaches, golf courses and other water sports like scuba diving, sailing, swimming, windsurfing and even sunbaths along the shoes.
Welcome to Taormina, the ultimatum in holidays!
Wanting to try the world famous Sicilian cuisine? This town boasts a range of restaurants, pastry shops, trattorias and pizzerias, cafes, bars, pubs and come in different budget ranges, to suit everyone. However, you cannot see several fast foods, which isn’t really surprising considering the value given to culture, heritage and nature.
Things to Do:
- If you have time and love adventure, monuments would be interesting for you. Besides, the climate allows one to try out different sports. Water sports are no different, even in winter! Yes, windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving, fishing, snorkeling and pretty much everything including jogging, can be tried all through the year.
With scenic hills surrounding the town, parafly clubs featuring professional teachers are rampant.
For those into golfing, “Picciolo Golf club”, which is a popular 18 holes green fee set in the village of Castiglione di Sicilia, about half hour’s drive from Taormina is dream come true. Playing gold here, would be a memorable experience considering its location on the top of an active volcano, though safe, huge forest-like green field, overlooking the Mediterranean sea with ships that sail to Africa. Almost all hotels offer discounts for their guests and equipment like balls, clubs and even shoes can be taken on rest right away.
On top of this, professional take classes, who speak English fluently. Public gardens are also a nice place to play Tennis, with palm trees and bougainvillea all around. Parks are open till 11at night.
- Don’t love sports? How about shopping? “Corso Umberto”, is a main and car free walking space. Here, tourists can take a relaxing walk and shop at renowned Italian shops that are also reasonable. Undoubtedly, it is a lot better than leading Italian cities! Besides, there’s a range of options when it comes to shopping. Shops feature everything from Sicilian’s own products like hand-made ceramics or the exquisite antiquities, the delicatessen stores with local wines and gourmet items, shops that sell fine leather, wrought iron and wooden products, etc.
All these are well-known, worldwide.
There’s no shortage for health and wellness outlets either. Irrespective of whether you are looking for relaxation or rejuvenation, there are numerous hotels, spas and hair stylists. Do you Love reading? How about a visit to the public library in Piazza IX Aprile, which is one of the town’s prime piazzas? Here you can get English books, books about Sicily or Taormina, International newspapers and magazines, antiques and what not. Just get a cup of coffee from the nearby café and sit in the library with your favorite magazine, paper or book.
It is free! You can enjoy the music played, the weather and what not, being in Taormina is one of the best treats you can ever get!!!
- 1) Da Nino
- Seafood on the beach
Via Luigi Pirandello 37
- 2) Osteria Nero d'Avola
- Eat cozy on the square
Vico De Spuches 8
- 3) La Botte
- Piazza Santa Domenica 4
- 4) Il Tiramisù
- Via Cappuccini 1
- 5) Casa Grugno
- High End Gastronomy
Via Santa Maria dè Greci
Three day itinerary
- Taormina raises is if though it came out straight from the fantasy paintings of the mythical past. It rises out stunningly out of Mt. Etna, which is one of the most dramatic and beautiful hilltop in all of Sicily. Surrounded by olive trees and grape vines and the lush greens, not to forget the dried out lava flows.
Without a doubt, Taormina is perhaps one of the most popular islands of Sicily, which makes it the perfect hideout for those who are somebody, such as celebrities and royalties.
The entire scene of the midlevel town seems picturesque, with alleyways and streets which looks like it is out from film sets, as well as Italian inspired buildings and the beautiful landscape of courtyards surrounding lounges and restaurants.
Check out this rough three day itinerary of Sicily up to Taormina
- 1pm - The arrival in Sicily
Sicily is considered to be one of the cheapest island to visit in Europe. It is best accessed through Catania or Palermo via mainland Europe. When you arrive at the Catania airport, you will notice that it had been refurbished if you had been there before. It is best to rent a car to truly enjoy your stay in Sicily.
However, you will need to do some walking with your trolley passing by dirt paths and closed walkways to get to the nearest car rental center.
- 3pm - Cruise the Sicilian Streets
If you decided to rent a car, yes, travelling would be much easier for you, however it could be quite a challenge to navigate your way around as there are lacking of signboards. Taormina can be accessed from the main roadway, there are very little signboards, but if you pass bus stops, tight turns and harrowing passes, you know you are on the right track on your way to Taormina.
When you are about to get there, you will start to be treated with stunning views of the beautiful cliffs which grants you view to the picturesque Mt. Etna
- 5pm - Finding A Place To Stay
The first choices of great hotels in Taormina have to be the San Domenico Palace as well as the Gran Hotel Timeo. The San Domenico Palace is full of rich, fabled history which was a monastery back then, which offers historic chapel like architecture, and service you will love.
If you would like to have rooms with view to the Teatro Antico, you should book rooms near the newer section which features grand balconies.The hotel grounds is quite commendable as well, which features beautifully landscaped terraced gardens as well as a cabana bar and tiled pool.
- 8pm - Visit The Taormina Town
During the day, there are plenty of commerce activities going on as locals are out to get their groceries and other stuffs. Towards evening however, the more charming and elegant scene emerges as you will see many other visitors and locals alike all dressed up for dinner and drinks with friends and family.
One place you should visit is the White Bar, where you can find along the shaded courtyard slightly off the main village. It is perhaps one of the most chic bar around, furnished in all white, and comes along with lounge music, a classic glassy storefront and serves great drinks.
9pm - The Teatro Antico
If you are planning to hitch a ride along with the Taormina hilltop pilgrimage tour bus, you need to visit all the other landmarks before 11am.
This means you are going to have to wake up real early, put on your walking shoes and start visiting places! Start with the Teatro Antico, which was constructed by the Greeks way back in the 3rd Century BC, and later turned by the Romans to become an amphitheater.
12pm - Go Shopping
If you like Sicilian handicraft such as traditional pottery, head over to the central village where there are abundance of crafts. Head over to the Giovanni di Blasi at Corso Umberto to get one of the signature Sicilian head-shaped pots known as the "teste di Moro".
These oddly shaped vase are based on a local folklore about a Moorish man betraying his Sicilian woman. She punished him by beheading him and using his head as a pot to plant herbs on her balcony. Pretty scary, but that is the story behind these vases.
Today, these vases come in a whole wide range of genders, styles and shapes.
7pm - Dinner at Taormina
If you want to experience the culinary delight of a 1-star Michelin rewarded eatery, head over the Casa Grugno, the eatery owned by the Grugno family which had been there since the 15th century. As soon as you enter the passageway, you will be greeted humbly by the hosts of the eatery.
Enjoy the savory cooking of chef Andreas Zangerl at the medieval inspired hall.
10pm - Party Time
One of the best clubs to visit is the Déjà vu, a VIP dance club which will definitely entice you with its outdoor patio, cocktail bar, and bouncers perched everywhere to make you feel like royalty. Usually security doubles up after 12 AM in peak summer months.
The interior is quite interesting as well with intriguing decorations and leather furnishings.
1am - The Night Is Still Young
Party is not over yet. You should enjoy your short stay in Taormina as much as you can. If you are not plastered yet, go ahead and drive to Giardini Naxo. If you have had too many drinks, grab a cab and head over to the club known as Marabu.
The club is a local hotspot, and it is very huge, attracting youngsters and older adults as well.
There are usually special appearances of celebrity DJs during high season, as well as promotional events by designers. If you have the money, secure a VIP room, and you will not regret your decision.
| Day Three
- 11am - Head Over To The Beach
Your Taormina visit will not be complete unless you take a visit and get your tan on one of the local beaches surrounding the place. Head over to the gondola at the edge of the town to get a ride to Taormina's most popular beach, the Mazzaro bay.
If you feel like you want to grab a bite or sip cocktail to the sun, head over to Lido La Pigna.
You know you are at the right place once you see its signature blue and white boardwalk which leads to the beach hut. Don't forget to grab a lounger.
- 2pm - Time To Pack Up - With A Bang
Before you head over to the hotel to pack up and leave Taormina, make one last visit to Aci Castello, which is located just South of Mazzaro Bay.
Words cannot describe the place properly, all you need to know is that it will give you a storybook ending. It is the perfect place to bid farewell to Taormina.
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