Taormina is the most popular resort city in Sicily. Once you arrive in this hilltop city on the Ionian Sea you will know why. A beautiful city with amazing shopping, an ancient theatre, a beach, wonderful food, and awesome views.
Famous writers such as Goethe and D.H.Lawrence were some of the first tourists to visit Taormina, and today this resort Sicilian town remains a prime travel destination for celebrities, writers, royalty, and film stars. Less crowded during the winter its season runs from Easter to October.
Corso Umberto is the foremost shopping street which is normally crowded with tourists .The varied product range includes regional hand-made ceramics, fine designer clothing, delicious dolci and traditional marzipan perfected in Sicily over centuries.
Bar Pirandello on Via Pirandello is a great little place to stop by and have a panino and of course some cannoli. Homemade cookies made from pistachios from nearby Bronte are sold in bags to take home, a nice touch. Caffè Wunderbar is a must for anyone who has never been to Taormina. This historic meeting point at Piazza IX Aprile is one of the best places in Taormina to treat yourself to a granita, cappuccino and cannoli among many other sweet delights.
Teatro Greco is the ancient Greek amphitheater in Taormina and is one of the largest ancient theaters in Sicily, second only to the one in Siracusa. This ancient theater sits atop a hill and provides a panoramic view of the sea 702 feet below and also of Mount Etna. The scene is every photographer’s dream, especially on a clear day.
Since the historic center of Taormina sits high on a hill, the way to reach Taormina’s beach at Mazzarò is by cable car from via Pirandello. For those who crave exercise, a set of 135 steps descend from the center of Taormina through gorgeous bougainvillea blooms. The water of the Ionian Sea is crystal clear and on the pebbled beach are more bars, restaurants and hotels. Available for rent are beach chairs and umbrellas, water sports equipment and other amenities.
If you have a car, drive up the three miles of winding road to reach the village of Castelmola, perched on the top of a rock overlooking Taormina. Buses run hourly from the center of town for those without their own vehicles. What is now mostly a town for tourists, Castelmola is the home of some ancient castle ruins and amazing panorama views. Over a dozen bars and restaurants can be found in this town but one in particular, Antico Caffè San Giorgio, has been serving its famous Vino alla Mandorla since 1907. This sweet almond wine makes a wonderful souvenir or gift from Taormina.
A visit to Taormina will leave you saying “che bello” over and over, and the desire to return again to this little slice of Paradise.
Margie Miklas is an American writer with a passion for Italy. She writes the blog, margieinitaly. Follow her on Twitter, FaceBook, and Pinterest. She is the author of Memoirs of a Solo Traveler – My Love Affair with Italy and My Love Affair with Sicily.