Perched atop a 700-foot cliff, Taormina holds a special place in my heart among Sicilian towns. Its vantage point offers stunning vistas of both the Bay of Naxos and Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, on clear days. Since Roman times, the village has been a coveted tourist destination, boasting a wealth of attractions such as historic sites, exquisite churches, scenic sights, unique shops, and delectable cuisine. It’s safe to say that Taormina has something to pique the interest of every visitor.
Discover the top 5 things that you must do in Taormina:
Explore the Ancient Greek Theater, a marvel of 3rd-century BC engineering that has undergone several modifications in the Roman era. It is still a popular venue for concerts and classical performances today, owing to its exceptional acoustics. The theater’s location with a breathtaking view of Mt. Etna serves as a magnificent setting.
Take a leisurely stroll along Corso Umberto, the town’s main thoroughfare extending from Porta Catania to Porta Messina, both of which serve as the primary entry points to the town.
Taormina’s bustling heart is Corso Umberto, its central avenue adorned with an eclectic mix of shops, cafes, eateries, churches, and winding alleys. No visit to Taormina is complete without exploring at least one of these narrow passages that veer off the main road. You never know what hidden gems you might stumble upon – a charming boutique, a rustic trattoria, or a breathtaking vista. Every alleyway boasts its own individual charm, waiting to be discovered.
Marvel at the Duomo and the delightful Baroque fountain situated in the Piazza Duomo. Known as the “4 fountains”, Quattro Fontane was built in 1635 and derives its name from the quartet of small columns that anchor the center basin. The basins are presided over by mythological ponies, from whose mouths water gushes forth in a mesmerizing display. St. Nicolas of Bari is the patron saint of the Duomo, or cathedral, in Taormina. The cathedral was constructed on the remnants of the Church of St. Nicolas of Bari in the 13th century, and underwent extensive rebuilding in the 15th, 16th, and 18th centuries.
Discover the enchanting Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and bask in its glory. Arguably Taormina’s most stunning square, it boasts unparalleled vistas of the Bay of Naxos and tantalizing glimpses of the mighty Mt. Etna. Situated a stone’s throw from Porto Catania, the piazza is adorned with a slew of restaurants and cafés, along with the grand Santa Caterina Church. Take a few pictures along the piazza’s perimeter, then settle down for a delectable snack or meal at one of the eateries. It’s my preferred spot to relish some delicious food and engage in people-watching in Taormina.
This piazza is the hub of activity, making it an ideal location for a family outing with children running around as parents take pleasure in their wine. It’s a go-to spot whenever we’re in Taormina with our grandkids. The grown-ups can revel in the stunning sight with a delectable bottle of wine while the little ones play ball in the cozy piazza. Alternatively, for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage, you could try a glass of Blood Orange Juice, which is bound to leave you awestruck!
If you’re a fan of Cannolis, be sure to visit Pasticceria Minotauro – they serve up some fantastic ones! It’s worth noting that these delicious pastries actually originated in Sicily. Via di Giovanni is home to a charming, family-run bakery that boasts of Taormina’s finest Cannolis. In addition to the delectable pastries, they offer an array of cookies and marzipan. The choice of a single flavor can be overwhelming, so most patrons opt for a variety of mini-cannolis. Among the cream fillings offered are pistachio, chocolate, cheese, and chocolate-dipped. The bakery can be easy to miss, being situated on the street below the one leading to the Greek Theater. It’s on the right side if you’re headed towards the theater entrance, across the short wall separating the two streets.
Should you find yourself en route to Taormina, have a wonderful stay and be sure to capture plenty of photographs to share with us.
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