Taormina, the paradise on earth on a sparkling sea, an island of scent and flowers among rocks, lights by the sea, the red shining Etna. (Karel Capek).
Taormina, an Italian little town in the province of Messina, in Sicily, is one of the most important international tourist centres in the Sicilian region, known for its beautiful landscape, sea, beaches and monuments.
About the origins of the town, its original name was ‘Turomenium’, that means ‘house on the Taurus mountain’, referring to the hilly position of the city.
There are lots of monuments and attractions in Taormina, such as the medieval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, which is the main place of worship in the city; it is located in Piazza Duomo, in the old town centre. Another symbol of Taormina is the well-known Greek-Roman Theatre, which is the second largest ancient theatre in Sicily after that of Syracuse. Taormina is also world-famous for its well-equipped beaches and clear waters. The three most important beaches in the city are: Isola Bella, Mazzarò and Mazzeo. A seaside place close to Taormina is Giardini Naxos, where you can find wider beaches.
Isola Bella is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily. Located right at the feet of the city, it is a pebbled beach, which takes its name after a small island with lush vegetation connected to the shore by a thin strip of sand. Nearby you can find beach resorts as well as free public areas, restaurants and cafés. Furthermore, if you are fond of diving and snorkeling you can book your tour directly on the beach. Isola Bella can be reached on foot through a descent of about one hundred steps, and is only 5 minutes’ walk from the Taormina cable car stop which efficiently connects the historic centre with the beach area.
Mazzeo is very close to Letojanni city centre and can be reached with a shuttle that leaves every hour from the centre of Taormina. The beach is both free and equipped and the sand is fine. The location is very quiet and it is not difficult to find a parking space nearby. The equipped beaches offer the bathers the opportunity to stop for both lunch and dinner in nice restaurants.
Mazzarò is one of the most suggestive beaches in eastern Sicily. Here you can find three beaches equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas but also a small free area. Easy to reach from the city centre by taking the cable car, it is located between two rocky spurs and is covered with Mediterranean vegetation. Enjoy the clear sea for the whole day: here you will also find some cafès and restaurants.
In the South of Taormina there is the small city Giardini Naxos with its famous and beautiful coastline. Here the beaches are made up of golden fine sand and surrounded by thick vegetation and you can find both equipped beaches and free areas. There are lots of cafés and restaurants nearby that make this city an ideal destination for those who want to experience the Sicilian nightlife! Moreover, several clubs offer canoe rental.
There are also lots of events that take place in Taormina every year, especially in the summer. The most important one is Taormina Arte, which have been held since 1983 and includes dance, music and theater shows.
Since it is one of the most popular tourist destinations, there are many hotels in Taormina such as La Plage Resort 4-star hotel, which is surrounded by a centuries-old pine forest and is located directly on the beach: it is an ideal refuge for anyone looking for peace and for a close contact with nature and sea. Another great place to stay is Grand Hotel Mazzarò Sea Palace, a 5-star luxury hotel, located in one of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean; the interiors of this hotel are furnished with a contemporary style with light colours and it is provided with a private equipped beach, for those wishing to spend a stay in contact with the sea. After a day spent at the beach, it will be a pleasure to taste the excellent dishes prepared by the chef of the restaurant and relax, listening to the pleasant piano bar music. The hotel is also disabled-accessible. Another 5-star luxury hotel in Taormina is the Grand Hotel San Pietro, which combines a classic and refined style, with an excellent service.
In Taormina, as in the whole Sicily, cuisine is a real cult, appreciated all over the world, thanks to the Sicilian excellent dishes based on fresh fish, homemade pasta, seasonal vegetables and unique flavourings. Don’t forget to taste the delicious Sicilian desserts such as cannoli, cassata, granita with brioche. If you want to eat something typical on the go, you can stop in one of the street food stalls and try one of the various Sicilian specialities. If you are looking for a nice place, then you can go to the restaurant Sapore di Mare: a place with a welcoming atmosphere, which offers tasty fish dishes.
In Taormina you can experience all this and much more: wonderful places and atmosphere which you’ll never forget!