The southern island of Sicily holds many quaint tourist spots. Perhaps one of its most beautiful attractions is the many medieval towns that dot the area.
Among these is the picturesque town of Taormina, which is situated just above the hills overlooking the Ionian Sea.
Ever since the 19th century, it has already been recognised as one of the country’s most popular tourist spots. And it’s no wonder that Taormina is hailed as a prime tourist destination in Italy – it has everything from majestic beaches to centuries old cultural landmarks.
Places to Visit
Perhaps one of the oldest and most prominent historical monuments found in Taormina is perhaps the Greek-Roman Theater. Believed to have been built by the Greeks in the middle of the third century BC, it shows influences of both ancient Greek and Roman architecture. It is frequently used as a venue for theatrical performances and concerts. Other monuments also include several palazzos, smaller theaters and the Antiquarium archaeological museum.
The town itself is ideal for sightseeing, considering it is built on some notable works of architecture. The fountain in Piazza Duomo is considered Taormina’s emblem. The Barocco style fountain was built in 1635 and shows some beautiful pieces of mythological sculptures, with Taormina’s coat-of-arms prominently displayed.
There are also several churches that have stood since the 14th century. The most dominant one would be the fortress Duomo and is considered the main cathedral of Taormina. The interior includes a three aisle setup done in a Latin-cross plan. There are also six minor altars located within, as well as two side altars. The Duomo’s main portal was rebuilt in 1636 and was given a Renaissance-inspired rosette.
Beyond the town, there are several beautiful beaches where you can enjoy the seaside view and swim to your heart’s content. The most accessible beach that you can easily visit is the Mazzaro Beach. There is a cable car that connects the town directly to the seaside. If you’re looking to get a good view of the beach, then you can’t go wrong with the bay at Isola Bella. It is less accessible but the view of the open sea is well worth it.
How to Get to Taormina
The nearest airport from Taormina is the Catania Fontanarossa “Vincenzo Bellini” International airport. It is approximately 55 kilometers and has several flights to many of the major Italian cities like Milan and Rome, as well as direct flights to major European cities like London, Paris and Berlin. From the airport, Taormina is still a one hour drive down the A18 highway in the direction of Messina. A taxi ride should cost you around 80 to 90 euros.
You can also travel to Taormina from Palermo via the A20 highway to Messina, then down the A18 towards Catania. This route should take you around three hours. There are also trains running from Palermo airport to Taormina, with connecting trips at Catania and Messina. These should take around five to seven hours, depending on the connection.
When to Visit
While Taormina stays beautiful the whole year round, there are specific seasons during the year that make it the best time to visit. If you’re averse to crowds, try not to visit during the months of July to August since this is the usually hottest and busiest time of the year. On the other hand, the town literally bursts to life during the spring months of May and June. During this time, the town is filled with blossoming flowers that paint the hillside in a vibrance of colours. The weather in June is particularly pleasant since you get very nice and sunny days, which give you a perfectly clear view of Mount Etna in the background.
If you do decide to visit during the summer months, you’ll especially enjoy warmness of the sea water when taking a dip. The water can give beach goers a much needed respite from the summer heat. There are several beaches where you can get a good view of the seaside, all of which are easily accessible via cable car.
Recommended Place To Stay in Taormina