Certainly the most iconic monument of the city, the Amphitheater was erected in Taormina in the 2nd century BC. Celebrated by Goethe for "the most beautiful view from a theater", it overlooks the Ionic sea and Mount Etna. The classic cavea was gently tailored by the side of the hill and it serves as stage for international events.
The literal translation "beautiful island" does certainly reflect reality. This Mediterranean paradise serves as a natural habitat for diverse species of birds and sea life and, with its crystal water, it´s the ideal spot to have a bath and enjoy the ocean breeze. Put your diver´s mask on and get your flippers ready, snorkelling here will be a memorable experience.
Bustling landmark of Taormina, Piazza IX Aprile is the vibrant heart of the town. Guarded by two majestic churches, it offers an inspiring view of the Ionic Sea and, with its traditional cafes and restaurants, it is the ideal place to sip some local almond wine while listening to musicians fiddling with their strings. Relax your gaze, breath naturally and stare towards the horizon - you will be certainly overwhelmed with feelings.
Constructed at the end of the XVII century, San Giuseppe church dominates Piazza IX Aprile with an elaborate Baroque facade. The interiors are finely decorated with floral motifs and angels, as well as with some exquisite frescoes picturing traditional Catholic images.
Recommended by both tourists and locals alike, the gardens of this villa represent the perfect escapade and a shaded solution after having spent days at the beach. Designed by the British and eccentric Lady Florence Trevelyan, they fairly resemble British gardens although they house a diverse and rare Sicilian flora as well as exotic plants. The architectural beauties are also considerable - take a look at the Beehive, this bizarre construction along with the other classical statues will make you wonder.
Overlooking Badia square, this iconic palace was erected throughout the Arabs´ domination in the XI century. The peculiar architectural features show a mixture of styles which blend together to create this astonishing mansion; take a walk up the XIII century staircase and discover the art exhibition hosted in the building.
Corso Umberto I crosses the entire town in what is the best and most iconic walk in Taormina. Take a stroll from Porta Catania to Porta Messina, the two ancient gateways that guard the city define the border of the medieval town. The road will lead you to some of the historical sites of the city as well as the best restaurants, cafes and shops.
If you happen to stroll through the picturesque alleys in town, you might stumble upon the Odeon. Only a few steps away from the main road, this Roman theatre was discovered in 1892 underneath buildings constructed upon it over the years. Its remaining stands out from the rest of the city, letting you dreaming of the long gone Roman Era.’
Take a ride on the cable way that connects the main town to this quaint beach, the breath-taking view will just anticipate what to expect from Lido Mazzarò. Although it is a pebbly beach, it is perfect for sunbathing and have a break from the daily routine. If you fancy having lunch at the beach, you will also find some local restaurants.
A hidden gem located at Mazzarò Beach is the Blue Grotto. This ideal scuba-diving spot is also perfect for a boat trip: the crystal blue of the sea is reflected on the inside of the grotto, creating a show of dazzling lights and colours. Enjoy the underwater world, you will find numerous scuba-diving schools throughout Taormina and Isolabella, for beginners or advanced divers.
The also called "Fortress Cathedral", is a Medieval church built in the 13th century over the ruins of San Nicola´s church. The austere facade granted the title to the biggest medieval monument in Taormina which, with its Gothic-Norman style, is one of the must see in town.
Located in Duomo Square, the Fountain of Piazza Duomo is further enhanced by the medieval beauty of Taormina´s Cathedral, which stands right in front of it, dominating the square. Constructed in a Gothic style, this stunning monument is guarded by the statue of the Minotaur, the half-man half-horse mythological emblem of the city.
A subtle paradise of blue crystal water, this public beach is bigger than Mazzarò Lido and certainly more relaxing. It is the locals most-loved spot as it doesn´t normally bustle with tourists and the tiny rock islands emerging from the blue surface, make its view particularly suggestive.
A day trip to the suggestive Alcantara Gorge offers a shaded solution to cool off and hide from the hot Sicilian sun. Located on the slope of Mount Etna, it was formed over 4000 years ago by the flow of lava crystallized by the touch of the Alcantara River, which created enchanting natural sculptures. Follow the numerous trails and get ready for an exciting hiking day. The journey takes roughly an hour and 10 minutes by bus and 40 minutes by car.
Featuring white sandy beaches and crystal blue water, this 4 km coastline is one of the most picturesque and fascinating bays on the island. Plentiful restaurants, bars and shops as well as the archaeological park, make Giardini di Naxos a perfect alternative for a day trip. Located only 6km from Taormina city centre, it is only a 26 minutes’ bus ride.
Perched on the mount that dominates Taormina, this intimate church was carved out of rocks and features peculiar rock interiors. From Taormina city centre, walk up the numerous steps that lead to this quaint church and enjoy one of the most suggestive views of the city.
The stairway that leads also to Madonna della Rocca Church, culminates in the Saracen Castle, making it the perfect destination if you fancy an hour long hike away from the bustle of the city centre. The breath-taking view and the ruins of the once magnificent castle are well worth the walk.
Villa Antonio serves typical Sicilian cuisine with a modern twist, adjusting some specialties to make them unique masterpiece of the culinary art. The breath-taking view and the elegant interiors are some of the peculiarities of the restaurant; it is in fact romantically located just in front of the Ionic Sea, offering one of the most charming balcony in town.
Perched above the city Taormina, the restaurant is located on the way to the Saraceno Castle: the fantastic location offers a sweeping view of the entire city, the stunning bay and the suggestive Mount Etna, often capped with snow. The cuisine is rigorously Sicilian, offering a real taste of the typical dishes.
Offering a place for emerging artists to exhibit their works, Casa Gioli is a vibrant and artistic spot located in the heart of Taormina. Sicilian specialties along with innovative dishes are cooked in a kitchen perfectly visible from the restaurant and can be accompanied by some of the most delicious wines of the Sicilian tradition.
Fancy escaping from Mediterranean food for a night and want to opt for a good, old burger? On the road is the place for you to be. The juicy burgers are served with local toppings which give them a touch of Italian flavours and can be accompanied by good beer carefully selected by experts.
Located in the heart of the historical centre of Taormina, Nettuno Restaurant boasts a wide variety of daily-catch seafood. Fantastic setting and a romantic courtyard are some of the peculiarities of this restaurant which is extremely popular for its cooking classes as well. Take a deep breath and enjoy a taste of Sicily.
After a stroll down Corso Umberto I and a full immersion into the Italian culture, take a break from the surrounding world and head to Caparena. The best sushi experience in town awaits for you here: made from the freshest ingredients, it is the best solution for a dinner in the vibrant center of the city.
Combining fresh ingredients cooked on the spot and a rustic atmosphere, Trattoria Don Ciccio is what represents the most of the traditional Italian eatery. "Trattoria" is the name used by Italians to refer to those "less sophisticated" restaurants where authenticity and Italian flavours are the keywords and that is just what Don Ciccio stands for.
A great terrace that overlooks the Murgo vineyards, the excellent aroma of ripe grapes and delicious products grown locally: Murgo Winery offers excellence all-around in a complete feast for your senses. Join the wine tasting - the knowledgeable staff will accompany you in a memorable Italian experience through the best local wines.
A deli that serves typical Sicilian food and some arancini to-die-for - Strit Fud offers an amazingly Italian version of a fast food. Offering the best of the Italian tradition, it serves homemade dishes that range from pizza, to baked pasta along with other delicious baked goods.
A bottle of wine, a premium cut of meat or just some appetizers and a friendly, Italian atmosphere - the perfect combination for an excellent dining experience. The rustic interiors along with a great selection of drinks and food will take the culinary art to a whole new level.
An exclusive and unique restaurant with one of the most beautiful view of the bay - Ristorante Taormina offers a sophisticated range of dishes that meet Sicilian tradition and innovative trends. Delicious food along with outstanding service is the main ingredient of this local gem.
Serving a wide selection of Sicilian delicatessen that range from traditional almond sweets to ricotta cannoli, Etna Pasticceria is the breakfast spot par excellence. Located on the crowded Corso Umberto I, It also serves as an ideal pit stop to recover strength and to raise energy level and continue your shopping day.
O´ Scialti is a traditional gelateria in the heart of the historical town - serving handmade gelato along with some freshly baked almond cones it is a must-do stop for a refreshing solution after a hot, sunny, Sicilian day. O´Scialty takes the perfection of gelato to a whole new level.
A family-run business that has only one interest at heart: to serve the best granita in town. A rather ambitious goal, as granita is a Sicilian specialty whose preparation process has been mastered over the years in Taormina but BamBar is succeeding in doing it. Treat yourself with their delicious granita, you will not regret it.
The beautiful location in the heart of the city, the great view that overlooks Mount Etna and a great history of celebrities that have chosen this romantic spot as a gathering point, have made Wunderbar a place to see and to be seen. The elegant balcony and the music on the background will take you back to the 1960s, for a full immersion into the Sicilian Dolce Vita.
Elegant red and white interiors, stunning chandeliers and an upscale service - at Mocambo Caffè, the Dolce Vita atmosphere will overwhelm you with nostalgic feelings. Along with Wunderbar, Mocambo stands for exclusiveness and uniqueness, making this beautifully located bar a landmark of Taormina.
The ideal spot for exquisite after-dinner drinks or a pre-club gathering point, Morgana Lounge is an upscale bar that serves delicious cocktails. Take a seat at the Ibiscus garden, the scent of the orange blossoms and the elegant interiors create an intimate and magnificently Sicilian atmosphere.
Outdoor cocktail bar, hip music on the background and complimentary snacks -Daiquiri Lounge is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The quaint steps in front of the bar buzz with life over the whole warm Sicilian summer, making Daiquiri Lounge the perfect place to enjoy the bustling heart of the city.
Since 1953 when La Giara opened, it has been the heart of Taorminian nightlife. An upscale seafood restaurant equipped with scrupulously selected wines, and a sophisticated club that will liven up even the laziest summer days - La Giara is the perfect destination for party lovers.
A versatile venue and a trendy hotspot, the sophisticated Meriden Beach transforms itself into an elegant lounge bar and nightclub at night. Waves that sluggishly crush to the beach on the background and captivating tunes that will accompany the night till the early hours are some of the component of the charming scene at the Meridien Beach Lounge.
An incredibly versatile bar, Shatulle offers light seafood dishes and salads for lunch while it transforms itself into an upscale cocktail bar at night. It is considered the first gay-friendly bar in Sicily, attracting a hip crowd fascinated by the vibrant atmosphere and creative drinks.
A prestigious name of the fashion industry, Trussardi is an Italian brand that stands for class and luxury goods. Creating signature garments since 1911, it is the best of the Italian culture and tradition. It has everything from women´s clothing, lingerie, menswear, shoes, accessories and perfumes.
Parisi srl is where to find the best among menswear brands: from Prada to Dolce&Gabbana, this shop located at Taormina´s main road sells unique clothing items. Born as a tailor´s shop it now collaborates with exclusive brands that are source of pride within Italian´s fashion culture.
The best of the "made in Italy" is Falconeri. Clothing items made of cashmere and quality materials, beautifully designed knitwear specifically created for fashion-lovers and peculiar silk scarves will open up a world of new possibilities - the ultimate shopping experience is signed Falconeri.
The hot Sicilian sun might be a blessing but certainly, to cope with the sunshine, it requires a good pair of sunglasses. Salmoiraghi e Viganò is an optician and its wide variety of branded sunglasses will certainly turn useful to protect your eyes and to look trendy in the country of style.
Paul & Shark offers the latest trend in women´s fashion and menswear, offering exceptional clothing items. It is a name that guarantees quality and style, keeping their collection always updated to the newest trend in the fashion industry and yet, still fond of a classic and sophisticated style.
Corso Umberto I and Via Teatro Greco feature infinite souvenir shops, making it hard to make your mind up over the most complicated decisions: gifts! Siligato Giuseppe, located in Corso Umberto I is a good starting point, offering a great range of souvenirs and traditional Sicilian items.
The closest airport to Taormina´s city center is Fontanarossa Airport in Catania, which is located 64km from the city. The cheapest way to get to Taormina is by bus, taking S.A.I.S. service or Etna Trasporti to Taormina. Alternatively, there are numerous options to rent a car: Aptransfers Srl +39 095 5874852 Forzese +39 95 349294 You can also book a taxi: Social Taxi Catania +39 095 330966 www.radiotaxicatania.org Taxi Sat Service +39 095 6188 www.6188.it May you require any further information, an information desk is located at the Arrival area (next to Lost & Found).
The best way to get around in Taormina is by feet: the city, in fact, it´s quite small and can be easily walked. If you fancy a trip a bit further on, Interbus has services to go to other Sicilian cities and to particular landmarks outside the town. The bus terminal is located in Luigi Pirandello Road. The cableway is another option, connecting Taormina city centre with Mazzarò and the beaches.
Italian´s taxis are white with a red TAXI sign on top: it shouldn´t be a problem to hail one. If you wish to book a taxi, here´s some company that run from Taormina to Catania and other Sicilian cities. www.taxirobertomirabile.com +39 346 581 0872 sicilytaxiservice.com +39 320 75 33 070 www.taxitaormina.net +39 333 12 75 225
Italian Pharmacy system is designed to ensure an open pharmacy at night or holidays within each area. You will find a sign on the door that will direct you to the one on duty, along with emergency numbers and opening hours. British Pharmacy Piazza IX Aprile, 1 +39 0942 24552 Giarrizzo Pharmacy 420 Umberto Road +39 0942 51267