Inhabited by the Siculi even before the Greeks arrived on the Sicilian coast in 734 BC, Taormina, then known as Naxos, is a Sicilian jewel that combines the looks of a medieval village, the feel of its ancient Greek soul, the sights, colors and scents of the typical Mediterranean vegetation.
Located near the strait that separates Sicily from the Italian peninsula, on a natural terrace overlooking the Ionian Sea, Taormina has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century, a must-stop on the Grand Tour, seducing artists and intellectuals such as Goethe, spellbound in particular by the Greek Theater, the symbol of Taormina.
Surrounded by cypresses and prickly pear plants, with the cavea carved into the rock, the Greek Theater of Taormina, later transformed into an arena by the Romans, offers a spectacular view of the turquoise sea as far as the Calabria coast, of the city of Syracuse and of the steaming summit of the Etna volcano.
To take in the atmosphere of this chic Sicilian town, stroll along Corso Umberto I, Taormina’s main street, where you can shop, drink and eat. If you prefer some calm, then wander amid the picturesque alleys and courtyards in the oldest part of town.
Don’t miss the encompassing view from Piazza IX Aprile, and the medieval quarter of Taormina, with its ancient buildings featuring Romanesque and Gothic ornaments and architectural elements.
Taormina is also synonymous with sea and beaches; Giardini Naxos is considered one of the most beautiful seaside resorts on the east coast of Sicily, favored by locals for its gorgeous sea. Another popular beach is Isola Bella, on a very small island located in the Bay of Taormina, connected to the mainland by a strip of land, visible at low tide.
The climate of Sicily makes Taormina an ideal destination to visit at any time of the year.