Taormina (Italian name Taormina, Sicilian - Taurmina) - a small resort town located on the Eastern coast of Sicily, close to the turquoise waters of the Ionian sea.
In ancient times the city bore the name of Tauromenium was founded at the turn of V-IV centuries BC Due to its rich and eventful history, Taormina has interesting attractions, which incorporates Greek, Roman, Arab and Norman motifs.
Currently, Taormina is not just a developed tourist center, it is the stunning beauty of the city. Many have called Taormina "Pearl of Sicily!", and so it is, without exaggeration, and publicity stunts.
Located on the slopes of Monte Tauro, the city has absorbed all the delights of the area, narrow cobbled streets, where historical monuments blend harmoniously with young and vibrant cafes and shops, and an abundance of rich greenery and the sea water the color of blue produce a truly lasting impression. Walking around the city and then you go up or down the mountainsides, making the town offers magnificent panoramic views of the Ionian coast, the sea, Taormina and the surrounding area.
In many places (viewpoints) from which to enjoy the spectacular views. In our opinion, the most beautiful views from the observation deck Via Pirandello, located just below the bus station. From this point you can see the beach and nature reserve - a tiny island of Isola Bella. We came daily to this place to admire the panorama of the coast.
The Beaches Of Taormina. The Coast Of Taormina
The beaches of Taormina and those that are located within walking distance from the town centre, mainly pebble, pebbles, sometimes mixed with major grey sand.
On the beaches there are free sections and paid (Lido) well - equipped area coast. On these beaches you will be offered sun loungers and sunshades, toilets and showers, free Wi-Fi and even a soft drink.
Sea water is clean and clear, pebble bottom, there are large rocks and boulders.
The beach of Isola Bella is located at the foot of the mountain - one of the most visited, crowded and beautiful beaches. The beach is small, has the form of two crescents, between which is located the eponymous nature reserve, which is a tiny island. To reach the island with a beach you can walk along the narrow sandy spit, washed by the sea waters.
The beach of Mazzaro, also known as Mazzarò or Mazzaro (Mazzaro Beach). The beach is located in the eponymous Bay, framed on both sides by steep rocks, making the beach is also very picturesque.
North coast unified beach stretch several beaches: Spisone (Spisone), Mazao/or Mazzeo Mazzeo (Mazzeo) and Letojanni (Taormina).
To reach the beaches of Taormina on foot, down equipped roads, where the sloping pavement combined with steps, or by cable car - cable car Taormina-Massari.
5 kilometres from the centre of Taormina, if you follow in a southerly direction along the coast is the small resort of Giardini Naxos (Giardini Naxos Beach), with the homonymous beach. Giardini beach is sandy, long and wide. On the beach sand, has all the necessary beach infrastructure. Great place for a family beach holiday with young children.
A detailed article about all the beaches of Taormina and the beaches of the nearby surroundings it is possible to read and see pictures here.
The Center Of Taormina
The city center is small, it is easy to get around on foot, besides well-groomed, pleasant and stomping in the green. In this part of Taormina flows the intense tourist life, and the great bulk of the attractions.
The city's main artery and tourist centers is to Corso Umberto street (Corso Umberto) and the adjacent secondary streets. Walking along the street you will find the main attractions, also here a countless number of cafes, restaurants, pubs and trattorias, souvenir shops and boutiques, jewelry stores and museums.
In the high holiday season on the street Umberto is almost always crowded, especially lively street becomes after sunset. Here, in the truest sense of the word, full of life, of the many cafes and restaurants, heard music in the souvenir shops there is a lively trade, and guests of the city walk and dinner in cafes and restaurants, tables which are arranged under the open sky.
The streets radiating from the Corso Umberto, less crowded, but also colorful, has a wider and explore and there is a narrow and very quiet.
Attractions Of Taormina
Main town gate, called Porta Messina (Porta Messina), the entrance to the old city.
In front of the gate stretches the area of S. Pancrazio, where you can see excavations of the historical monument and the oldest Basilica Church of San Pancrazio (Chiesa di San Pancrazio), architecture in the Baroque style and with an amazing interior. The Church is named in honor of the patron Saint of Taormina, Martyr Pancras was built in the XVI-XVII centuries on the site of the Greek temple of Jupiter Serapis, next to the Basilica you can find the remains of the Foundation of the temple of Serapis.
In the interior of the Church can be seen the masonry of local stone and marble, and the main decoration are the murals with the image of St. Pancras.
Let us return to the Messianic gate of the city. Stepping through the gate, find ourselves in a different world, where noisy inexhaustible feast of subtly intertwined with the story. From this gate originates is the same, the main street of old Taormina - Corso Umberto. Walk through this street is not only fun, cafés and shops, it's a touch to rich history. Here, literally every 20-30 meters, there are various attractions and interesting things, many of which are straight along the street, while to reach the others, will have to turn off the main street of Taormina.
View of the Port of Messina from the street Umberto
A little less than 100 meters from gate Messina and we are already on the first elegant square, which adjoins three of the outstanding attractions of Taormina:
- a strict Church of St. Catherine (Chiesa di Santa Caterina) was built in the XVII century. In a niche above the entrance is a large statue of the Saint;
- the Catherine Church is a small Roman Odeon (Odeon Teatro/Teatro Romano). The theatre capacity was only 200 people;
and Corvaja Palace (Palazzo Corvaja), a vivid example of Sicilian Romanesque style (a mixture of Arab, Byzantine and Norman styles). The dominant feature of the Palace stands the square tower of the XI century (it is so clearly seen from the square).
Also around the square besides the Church and Palace, cafes and boutiques. Well... as always, after all a tourist center.
If from Corso Umberto to go down the street to the Teatro Greco (Via Teatro Greco), which have all the same shops and cafes, then go to one of the most famous, most visited and recognizable landmarks of Taormina - Greek theatre (Teatro Antico di Taormina). The amphitheatre was built by the Greeks in the III century BC and is designed for 10 thousand spectators.
Back on the street Umberto. Walking further, we come to a beautiful and one of the main squares of the historical part of Taormina - area 9 April (Piazza IX Aprile). On the area of restaurants and street musicians. And from the lookout area of stunning beauty and scenic views.
The dominant square of the 9th April are two churches and arch (historical monument):
- severe forms of the Church. Augustine (Ex Chiesa Di Sant'agostino) was built in the XV century in gratitude for the deliverance of the city from the plague;
Church - old Cathedral of San Giuseppe (San Giuseppe), built in the XVII century. The exterior of the Church in Sicilian Baroque style captivates from the first minutes, but the inside could not go, they say the Church has long been closed to the public;
historical monument - an old arch - gate of the castle of Taormina, called Port Mezzo (Torre Dell'orologio e Porta di mezzo). These gates, like cutting the street in half, Umberto. The gate tower has battlements and a clock, and in the arch you can see the Byzantine icon of the Madonna miraculous. Say, the icon was discovered directly in the wall, under the layers of paint and plaster.
Main square Taormina stands the Duomo square (Piazza Duomo). The square is the main Cathedral of Taormina - St. Nicholas Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Nicolò di Bari), built in the XV century on the site of a small medieval Church, dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. And the main decoration of the Duomo square is a Baroque fountain with two superimposed basins. Near the fountain a drinking fountain, from which you can gain water (water tastes lousy, like from the tap).
Further walking along the Corso Umberto and go to the third last gate of the street called Porta Catania (Porta Catania)
On the street Umberto ends. Outside the gate is a small Church of San Antonio abate (Chiesa di Sant'antonio Abate) and great junction streets.
As well as an observation deck with views of the gardens of Naxos (Terrazza Panoramica su Giardini Naxos), near where the Parking.
If from the Port in Catania to go down the street to Pietro Rizzo, here meets us friendly Palace of the Dukes of Santo Stefano (Palazzo Duca di Santo Stefano). Once this Palace served as the residence of the Spanish noble family De Spuches, Dukes of Santo Stefano. Next to the Palace stretches a beautiful green Park where you can walk.
And just below the Palace is modest and secluded , the Catholic Church of St. Michael the Archangel (Chiesa Di San Michele Arcangelo).
City Park Comunale (Garden of Villa Comunale)
Villa Comunale or parco Colonna - city Park in Taormina. The Park was founded by the Englishwoman Florence Trevelyan and is open to visitors in 1923. The Park is very scenic and green. In the Park of exotic trees and flowers, walking paths along which you can see interesting structures, statues and small fountains and benches and places with open panoramic views.
Ciampoli Palace (Palazzo Ciampoli)
Palazzo Ciampoli is one of the oldest palaces in Taormina, near Corso Umberto. The Palace dates back to the XIII century.
The old Palace Badia Vecchia
The old Palace or the old monastery of Badia (Palazzo Badia Vecchia) looks more like a Palace than a Abbey. The structure looks very impressive - massive and impregnable battlements and Gothic double Windows are doing their job. The monastery is located in the Northern part of the city.
Carved in the rock Church of Madonna della Rocca and the ruins of the castle of Taormina
These two outstanding attractions located on top of mount Tauro. From the centre of Taormina, on the stairs, you can climb in 20 minutes. Plus the walk will be opening mount 360-degree view, allowing to enjoy beautiful views of pristine nature, as well as Taormina and the surrounding area.
Read more about the Church and the castle, and also on how to get from Taormina you can read and see the pictures in the article "On mount Tauro: the Church in the rock, the ruins of the castle and Taormina from the height of bird flight".
Where to stay in Taormina
Accommodation in Taormina abound. The town has hotels, apartments, villas, guest houses and other accommodation facilities, from budget to most luxurious. You can stay along the beach, or just removing; in a quiet and peaceful place, or in the heart of the historic center. If you come to see the sights, then choose accommodation closer to the historic centre, as if for a beach holiday, then you can look for options near the beaches.
All accommodation in Taormina can view and book here.
How to get to Taormina
The closest airport receiving direct flights from Russia, located in Catania, 55 miles from the centre of Taormina.
Cheap flights to Catania it is possible to look here. In Catania, at the airport, you can hire a car to reach Taormina and(or) to go further to explore the island. To see the prices on the rental and conditions of rental, and rent a car here.
Also to get from Catania airport to Taormina faster, easier and more comfortable by taxi. To order a taxi/Shuttle service in advance, even from home. At any time of the day, at the airport, you will meet your driver with a sign, which will be written your name and surname. For taxi is enough to tell us your flight details.
By public transport
From Catania (airport and downtown) can be reached by a direct bus. Travel time from 1 hour 10 minutes. Buses run daily from 7 am to 8 PM. The fare depending on the time of departure of the bus from the centre of Catania is 5 Euro, from the airport of Catania - 8,20 euros. The bus timetable and ticket prices can be viewed here.
Also from the centre of Catania can be reached by direct train.
From Messina on direct bus or train. The carriers are the same.
From Palermo by bus or train with transfers in Catania or Messina.
To get to Taormina on the bus. The fact that the bus station of Taormina is located in the city centre, 5 minutes ' walk from Corso Umbero and railway station called Taormina-Giardini, 4.5 kilometers from the city center, if you go by transport and 3 miles if you walk. So from the railway station will have to take the bus that runs regularly (the fare is 1,90 euros to purchase tickets from the driver or at the bar railway station) or by taxi. To walk inconvenient and dangerous mountain serpentine narrow road, the roadsides are almost there, big machines go to work.
Tickets for trains (s-Bahn) can be purchased at the railway stations at vending machines or ticket offices and online as the Trenitalia website and on the website of Reil Europe. What's the difference: the Trenitalia website is not on the Russian language and payment only in euros, the website of Reil Europe Russian and to purchase tickets for rubles.
Railway station Taormina-Giardini
Bus Station Of Taormina
All accommodation facilities in Sicily, you can view and book here