Info Taormina

What to see in Taormina: the best things to do and attractions

About an hour’s drive north from  Catania , there is a small town considered one of  Sicily’s treasures . Located on the top of a cliff over 200 meters high,  Taormina  offers an incredible view of the sea and the Etna volcano.

In this guide, I will first tell you about the  12 main things to see in Taormina . Already! After reading this guide, you will know everything you need to visit the  main attractions  of Taormina and its surroundings!

In case you would like  to stay in Taormina,  I have selected for you the best hotels based on the budget you have available.

Visit Taormina: The most important places of interest

The first thing to know before visiting Taormina is that  the city center is open exclusively to pedestrians .

This is a great thing, but  if you intend to visit Taormina by car, remember  that you will be forced to leave your car in one of the few parking spaces available on the outskirts of the city, while in high season, it goes without saying that this detail will soon change. in a problem.

So, if you intend to stay for more than one night in Taormina, it is  important that you choose accommodation with private parking.

Otherwise, it is still possible to  find a parking space in the lower part of the  city  and take a bus to the historic center. Remember that this is only an alternative and that during the summer, there can be a lot of crowds.

Now that you are aware of these aspects,  let’s start discovering Taormina!

1. Corso Umberto

Corso Umberto  is THE main street that crosses the entire center of  Taormina .

On both sides, you can find a number of luxury boutiques, jewelers, clothing and souvenir shops, and this will make you immediately understand why Taormina is nicknamed  “the Sicilian Saint Tropez” .

You can also find grocery stores, bakeries, bars and restaurants that will surely not blow your mind during lunch or dinner time.

2. Piazza IX Aprile

Along the way, you will surely come across  Piazza IX Aprile , one of the  best viewpoints in Taormina , with its incredible panoramic terrace overlooking the bay below and Mount Etna.

It is considered the  perfect place to take beautiful photos, especially at sunset.

You will enjoy the atmosphere even more thanks to the musicians, acrobats and painters who perform there.

You can also see a small church that contributes to the charm of this square, the  Church of San Giuseppe,  the church takes up the Baroque style, and if you visit Taormina, you certainly can’t miss it.

3. Cathedral of Taormina

If you want to visit one of the typical Sicilian churches, you can visit the  cathedral of Taormina.

Located at the end of  Corso Umberto  (or at the beginning, depending on where you are),  you will be able to recognize it due to its beautiful medieval facade and its Baroque style door .

Its interior is also definitely worth a look, which gives another reason to pay a visit to it: during the hot summer days, despite the outside temperature, its interior always remains fresh and hospitable.

4. Public Gardens – Villa Comunale

If you prefer to get away from the crowds, you can go to the  Villa Comunale , with its huge public garden.

The villa, in the past, belonged to a rich English woman passionate about birds, who decided to build various structures, including feeders and nest boxes.

From here,  the view over the bay is magnificent  and this is the ideal place to enjoy a picnic in the shade of the greenery. If you are planning to eat with a packed lunch, this is definitely the best place to do it!

5. Greek Theater of Taormina.

The most famous monument in Taormina is certainly the  Greek Theater.

 Its construction dates back to the third century BC and is still well preserved today. The theater can accommodate over 5,000 people and is used for the representation of plays and concerts.

An important thing to know if you visit the theater during a concert day is that there will be a large stage in its center, which may slightly spoil the atmosphere of the place.

The cost to visit the theater is € 10 , which is quite expensive, especially considering that the visit is short, it lacks explanatory panels and brochures.

In just 30 minutes you will have just the time to take some photos, but again, the main reason for visiting the theater is for the panorama it offers. Aside from the price, the Greek Theater remains absolutely a  must-visit in Taormina .

6. Madonna della Rocca Church

Those who still have some strength can reach  via Circumvallazione.

 From here a staircase of over 300 steps starts, without a shred of shade (so bring a bottle of water), which will take you  to the top of Taormina  in about 20 minutes on foot. From here, you can enjoy a magnificent view over the whole city and the Greek Theater.

Also worth a visit is the sanctuary of the  Madonna della Rocca , a small chapel, partially carved into the rock.

7. Isola Bella

Among the things not to be missed is the small island located at the foot of the city, the same island that can be seen on every postcard of Taormina!

You can reach  Isola Bella  on foot in about half an hour from the top of the city (going back will be particularly tiring for your legs!) Or by car (good luck finding a parking space nearby!).

This beach is truly amazing and definitely worth a visit, especially for its pebble beach and crystal clear water.

8. Castelmola

5 kilometers from Taormina, the small town of  Castelmola  is definitely worth a visit, both for the ruins of its medieval castle and for its enchanting streets.

Both in the village and in the castle, there are some of  the best viewpoints of the valley below and of Mount Etna .

Don’t forget to taste the  almond wine , a specialty of the country.

9. Gorges of Alcantara

A 50-minute drive from  Taormina , this site represents a geological curiosity. The  Alcantara Gorges  are more than 25 meters high and are no more than 2-4 meters wide.

The peculiarity of these gorges lies in the formation of its walls, which are the  result of various lava flows  coming from Etna . The lava cooling in contact with the river water led to the formation of these particular forms.

Unfortunately, due to the particularly cold water, this place is not recommended for a swim!

The Alcantara Gorges, on the other hand, are  the ideal place to try canyoning . If you are well equipped you will not feel the cold and  the descent of the river while canyoning in the middle of the gorges is really fantastic!

10. The Etna Volcano

Starting from Taormina, there are several tour operators offering one-day visits to Mount Etna.

They will take you to the foot of the volcano, provide you with a guide and the necessary equipment, and organize the ascent to the crater by jeep. This is probably the safest way to reach Etna!

However, you can decide to reach the volcano with your car. The volcano is about an hour’s drive from Taormina.

11.  Visit the filming locations of “The Godfather”

You may already know that the famous  film “The Godfather” was shot in Sicily.

Well, I have great news for all  Michael Corleone fans : you can  visit some of the filming locations during an amazing guided tour!

During your tour, you will discover the  village of Savoca, the Vitelli bar, the Church of San Nicolò / Santa Lucia,  where Corleone got married and the  village of Forza d’Agro.

12.  Discover the best cellars of Etna

Sicilian wine  is becoming more and more famous all over the world, and  some of the best wineries are found around Taormina and the Etna volcano.

From Taormina, you can take a guided day trip  to learn more about the  unique wines produced on the volcanic soil of Etna . Your guide will give you all the information on local wines and of course you will have the opportunity to have a  fantastic wine tasting!

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