Taormina is the most famous and exclusive resort in Sicily. It is a wonderful combination of nature and architecture that Goethe himself admired during his Italian travels. Taormina offers something for both people fascinated by antiquity or the Middle Ages, as well as lovers of a quiet holiday on fabulous beaches.
The very location of Taormina is an attraction. It is situated on the slopes of the mountains which fall steeply towards the blue sea, shimmering in the sun. The green Mediterranean scrub, clear gravel and pebbles covering the local beaches, the Mount Etna looming in the background and the sea create a wonderful background for historic buildings.
The oldest of the local monuments come from ancient times. Taormina was founded in the 4th century BC and until the fall of Rome it was an important commercial and cultural center of Sicily. Among the most important monuments from this period are the Ancient Theater of Taormina, the Roman Theater and the remains of the city walls.
The walls were also used in the Middle Ages by Arabs and Normans, successive rulers of these areas. The Saracen Castle and the medieval entrance gates, Porta Catania and Porta Messina, have been preserved to this day. Inside the walls, there are also many interesting places, such as the Cathedral of St. Nicholas of Bari, the Corvaja Palace, the Clock Tower or the Duca di Santo Stefano Palace.
The main road of Taormina is Corso Umberto with restaurants, cafes and expensive shops. On the other hand, a favorite meeting place for both residents and tourists is Piazza IX Aprile, from which there is a beautiful panorama of the area. A popular walking area are the gardens of Villa Comunale lying on the slope and arranged in the form of terraces.
However, among the attractions of Taormina, the beaches play a key role. The three main ones, closest to the city, are situated in small coves and are covered with light gravel. The natural separation of the two is Sola Bella, a rocky islet connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway caused by sea currents. The rocky coast of the islet is a popular choice for tourists looking for an escape from organized beach holidays.