Azure sea, magnificent mountains, splendid palaces, gothic cathedrals, and medieval streets. Taormina is a city that makes you choose between meditative doing nothing on the beach and an unharried guided tour around the ancient quarters. Between shopping for exclusive items and a guided tour to the most famous active volcano Etna. Between amazing almond wine and wonderful coffee from a small cozy café, the owner of which knows a magic way to make it. When in Taormina, you start to plan your next trip here.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
|from 123 €/night||from 139 €/night||Start - 7.52 €, 1km - 1.45 €||1.54 €/liter||30 € for 2 person|
Attractions of Taormina
It would be difficult simply to enumerate the sights of Taormina. For thousands of years of its history, it has collected many masterpieces of architecture and art. These are unique palaces and medieval churches, beckoning with their austere beauty and unusual decoration, and just residential houses, preserving the unique facades and balcony lattices.
At the end of the I century, Taormina became Christian and fought long and painfully for its faith. But in 902, it was conquered by the Arabs, rebuilt, and renamed, but still, it was not conquered completely. Already in 1078, the Normans returned the city to the bosom of Christianity.
In the XIX century, it gained fame as a popular European resort. And all thanks to the great Goethe, who traveled here and was struck by the beauty of the city and the unique climate. It was visited by the members of the noble families and even royal families, as well as bohemians. Hugo and Nabokov, Maupassant and Dumas, and Dali and Wagner all praised Taormina. Today, a small town with thousands of years of history and carefully preserved past monuments still attracts tourists.
The best time to visit Taormina
You should go to Taormina from November to April for cultural and educational recreation. January is the coldest month, but the temperature does not drop below +10°C even then.
If you plan a vacation between mid-June and the first decade of July, you can observe Corpus Domini being celebrated. It falls on the penultimate Sunday in June. The day of St. Pancras, the patron saint of Taormina is celebrated on July 9. In June, there is also the famous Taormina Film Fest.
According to Italian law, the passage by the water (along the edge of the beach) is free. No one will forbid you to walk along the beach, even if it's a five-star hotel. But Taormina's beaches are almost entirely rocky, so you should be careful and wear comfortable shoes. Sea urchins often hide in the coastal algae, and moray eels swim to the shore. You can buy special slippers for swimming at the same Corso Umberto.
Taormina is full of stairs, steep climbs, and descents. As they age, the locals begin to complain of knee pain. Therefore the peculiarities of the local terrain should be taken into account by tourists, especially those who prefer to explore the city on long walks. First, you should ensure that your shoes are as comfortable as possible.
Almost the entire center of Taormina is a Traffico Limitato zone. It is forbidden to enter by car. Entering under such a sign (cameras are everywhere) will cost a rather large fine - at least 100 euros. In this area can pass only those who have a special permit - pensioners in tiny cars or shopkeepers who bring goods. It is better to leave the car in the multi-level parking lumbi.
The city of Taormina is worth taking back as a souvenir: almond wine and limoncello. There are also excellent spices and sweets. The sweet tubes, the favorite delicacy of the movie Don Corleone, are a must-try. The tiramisu in Taormina is also a real winner. Gourmets can try swordfish, which is offered in many local restaurants. Lace, Etna lava jewelry, amber, and coral are also not bad souvenirs.
Things to do in Taormina
- See with your eyes the most ancient landmarks of Taormina - the Greek theater and the Odeon. To build the former, the ancient Greeks had to roll up a mountain, in the literal sense of the word - limestone. Having dragged about a hundred thousand cubic meters of rock, they built a giant auditorium for 10 thousand of spectators. The theater's cave is truly enormous (over 100 meters long), and the acoustics are still impressive. In Roman times, gladiatorial fights were held here, and today the world's stars perform here. By contrast, the Odeon, built under Octavius Augustus, is miniaturized, only accommodating 200 people. But it is just as impressive.
- Go up to the square on April 9 and admire the magnificent views of the city, the sea, and the majestic Etna. Listen to the street musicians who love the square for their performances, and be sure to devote time to the two unique churches - the church of St. Augustine, built in the XV century in gratitude for saving the city from the plague, and the cathedral of San Giuseppe, XVII century. However, the latter has long been closed to the public. And don't forget to take a photo in front of the legendary Porta di Mezzo gate.
- Take a stroll down Taormina's main street, Corso Umberto. Here you can find all kinds of shopping establishments, from modest souvenir shops to expensive boutiques of fashion brands and small cozy restaurants. On Corso Umberto, you can endlessly admire the old houses whose facades are certainly the face of history.
- View the city through a bird's-eye view from a cable car cabin. The views are fabulous - panoramas of the city, churches, castles, mountains, Etna, and endless beaches. And then there are the tiny islands scattered along the coast.
- Take a look at Villa Comunale city park. On its territory of almost 3 hectares, there are pedestrian paths, benches, and fountains, and completely uncharacteristic for Italy buildings, reminiscent of oriental pagodas are lost among the greenery. Exotic plants and fantastic flowers grow here.
- Focus on the sea and the beaches of Taormina. There are several within the city. One of the most picturesque is Mazzaro, which is hidden in a bay surrounded by cliffs. People come here not only for the suntan but also for the beautiful views. The sea in Taormina is quite clear. Fans of snorkeling will be interested in admiring its rich underwater world. And Panasia beach also invites to open-air parties at night.