Taormina is a charming hillside town on the east coast of Sicily, Italy and is one of the island's main tourist resorts. Whilst Taormina can be hot and busy during July and August, crowded with Italian tourists, it is far more pleasant and (slightly) less busy during the rest of the year.
Many package tourists stay at the nearby beach resorts of Giardini Naxos (below Taormina on the coastline, some 3 km away to the south) and Letojanni about 5 km to the north..
Regular trains to and from Messina and Catania. However the station (called Taormina-Giardini) is on the seafront 2 km below the centre. There are some buses taking you to Taormina (cost is around €1.70), but it's often more convenient to take a long-distance bus from the centre straight to or from your destination. Walking from the station is scenic but exhausting.
Look for flights to Catania. There you can rent a car to get to Taormina.
Cruise ships occasionally visit, but must anchor/moor offshore. Passengers bus or taxi up to the town.
The main street of Taormina is pedestrianised, making it easy to wander around by foot.
If coming in by car, you may enter the town center only to go to a hotel or a rented house: local police may require you to show proof of booking. As an alternative, it's better to park the car at one of the 2 large public car parks ('Parcheggio Lumbi' or "Parcheggio Porta Catania") that you encounter on the outskirts of the city coming in. From there, either walk to the city centre (2 min from 'Parcheggio Porta Catania'/around 10 min but uphill from 'Parcheggio Lumbi') or catch the shuttle buses running continuously to the centre.
However, there are regular shuttle buses down to Giardini-Naxos, the train station, Letojanni and up to Castelmola.
There is also a frequent Cable Car down to the beach at Mazarro. The cable car runs from 8AM till 1AM during the summer months.
- Teatro Greco (Greek theatre). Impressive open-air (mainly ancient Roman) theatre, with great views up and down the coast and across to Mount Etna. Entrance fee: € 8.00.
- Piazza IX Aprile. A square with a balcony facing the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Etna. In the corner of the square stands the
- Torre dell'Orologio/ Porta di Mezzo,. A clock tower and gate to the southern part of Taormina.
- Palazzo Corvaja (Corvaja Palace). Medieval palace, dating from the 10th century. Originally built by the Arabs when they ruled over Taormina. The main body is an Arabic tower. It has also an inner courtyard where the Arabic influence can been seen in the architecture.
- Wander up and down the main street - Corso Umberto I taking in the sights
- Purchase a mulberry ("gelsi" in Italian) granite, or other delicious ice cream
- The Bombocrep Club, which is located along the main front of the beach
- There are plenty of souvenir shops.
- Limoncello - a sweet alcoholic lemon drink served chilled after a meal - is refreshing and sold widely.
Taormina has plenty of restaurants. Spada - swordfish - is recommended, except that swordfish stocks are threatened, so use your own judgment.
- Arancini in Corso, 2 Piazzetta Leone, ☎ 392 8599198. Traditional and creative takes on arancini and other Sicilian street food. Recently opened by two young women entrepreneurs.
- Ristorante pizzeria Mirage, Via Roma 13. Located on a terrace just next to the hotel Monte Tauro. Excellent food, good service and a spectacular view of the Naxos bay with Mount Etna in the background.
- Gianni House, 47 Via Pergusa, Giardini-Naxos.
- Youth Hostel is friendly and convenient, although difficult to find.
- The Dolphins Guest House has a number of single, double and triple bed rooms starting from €25. Spacious, clean accommodation. .
- Hotel Jonic Strada Statale 114, n. 224 Tel: +39 0942 23112 - fax. +39 0942 628515" URL: . 3-star hotel overlooking the Bay of Mazzaró in the historical centre. Close to the transport link down to the beach.
- Hotel La Pensione Svizzera Taormina - via Luigi Pirandello, 26 - 93039 Phone +39 0942.23790 fax +39 0942.625906 . In a scenic location in Taormina, outside the town center and a few metres from the bus station.
- Grand Hotel Timeo, Via Teatro Greco, 59, + 39 0942 23801 . In 1906 it housed the Grand Hotel Timeo Guillermo II of Hohenzollern, Duke of Prussia and the Emperor of Germany, and in his honour the most prestigious suite in the hotel is dedicated to him. It is in a park approximately 20.000 metres squared. Other NH Hotels in Taormina
- Hotel Villa Caterina, Via Silipigni, 17 (Near sea, centro storico), ☎ +39 0942 24709 24709, fax: +39 0942. Twin room from 102€.
- Hotel Villa Gaia, Via Fazzello, 34 (30 metres from the Duomo), ☎ +39 0942 23185, fax: +39 0942 23185. 2-star hotel. Single room from 85€, double from 120€.
- Hotel Villa Il Glicine, Viale S. Pancrazio 25-27, ☎ +39 0942 23112, fax: +39 0942 628515. Group of family-sized apartments with private terraces and facilities and the services of the nearby 3-star Hotel Jonic. Full kitchen facilities and home comforts are all provided in this recently-built structure.
- Hotel Villa Schuler, Piazzetta Bastione/Via Roma, ☎ +39 0942 23481, fax: +39 0942 23522. Check-in: Doubles from 155€. Special offers updated on their official website with low season periods also from 92€. Spectacular and unique views of Mt. Etna and frontal view of the bay of Naxos. Surrounded by its own extensive gardens. Central and quiet position. One of the few hotels in the medieval historic town centre of Taormina to have its own garage with valet parking service. 21 spacious rooms and 6 Junior Suites with 24-hour room service, parking, garages, solarium, sport activities and shuttle service to the hotel beach. Free Wi-Fi.
- Hotel Taodomus, Corso Umberto, 224. Tel. +39 0942 62 83 15 - Fax +39 0942 62 44 46 . In the historical centre.
- Ariston, Via Bagnoli Croce, ☎ +39 0942 643131, fax: +39 0942 643141.
- Hotel Caparena, Via Nazionale, 189, ☎ +39 0942 65 20 33, fax: +39 0942 36 913. . 4-star hotel with spacious rooms on the beach. Features 3 restaurants, 3 bars and a wellness and beauty centre.
- Residence degli Agrumi, Via Di Giovanni 67, ☎ +39 0942-24218, e-mail: email@example.com. The residence has a quiet location overlooking a terrace with evergreen plants, prickly pears and lemon trees. Each apartment is bright and spacious with a TV, radio and washing machine.
- Hotel Villa Angela Taormina. Home to actors and rock stars.
- Hotel Villa Carlotta Taormina, Via Pirandello 81, ☎ +39 0942 626058, fax: +39 0942 23732. Castle-like Sicilian villa.
- Taormina hotel Villa Ducale, Via Leonardo da Vinci 60, ☎ +39 0942 28153, fax: +39 0942 28710. Boutique hotel.
- Hotel Giardino dei Greci, C.Da Sirina - Via dei Sei Mulini 98030 Giardini Naxos, Tel. +39 0942.51514, Fax +39 0942.550079 . On the bay of Taormina. One traveller reported that this hotel has a great, very large and deep pool, "good-sized" rooms, good service and great air con.
- Hotel Imperiale, via Circonvallazione, 11 (Historic centre), ☎ +39 0942 625202, fax: +39 0942 625978, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Built at the beginning of the 20th century and reopened in 2009 after restructuring works. The design and the restructuring was carried out in full observance of the styles and local materials, such as the widely used volcanic stone, and was adapted to modern requirements.
- Hotel Méditerranée, Via Circonvallazione, 61, ☎ +39 0942 23901, fax: +39 0942 21231. 4-star hotel overlooking the sea from a great height, with outdoor swimming pool, restaurant and large meeting facilities plus the option to use the private beach of the sister hotel on the coast.
- Hotel Villa Sirina, Via Crocifisso, 30, 98039, ☎ +39 0942 51776, fax: +39 0942 51671. Historic villa at the foot of Taormina with a wonderful view of Giardini-Naxos Bay.
- Hotel Villa Taormina, Via Tommaso Fazzello, 39, Ph. +39 0942 620072, Fax +39 0942.623003 . An antique residence in the heart of Taormina surrounded by a typical Sicilian garden with pleasant scents. Antique furnishings, panoramic terrace with a splendid view.
- Hotel Villa Sant Andrea. On the bay of Mazzarò, close to Taormina. It was built in 1830 by an aristocratic British family, and was transformed into a hotel in 1950.
- Castelmola - a hilltop village 5km above Taormina with even better views. Several buses up (you can walk down if you have time).
- Plenty of agencies offer day trips to Mount Etna. You are not allowed to walk right to the top unless you have a guide (and possibly not even then, depending on the state of the eruptive activity), but the lava flows are impressive. It is over 3000 m high, so wear warm clothes - it can be cold even in summer, and the top is often covered in cloud.
Novara di Sicilia - Located in the provence of Messina on the northern side of Mt. Etna, this picturesque medieval town is nestled in the mountains overlooking ancient Tyndaris and Abacaenum. It is the archetype of a typical medieval town, with its friendly and accommodating people who speak a distinctive dialect.