Taormina

From Wikivoyage
Jump to: navigation, search
Town and amphitheater, with Mount Etna in the background
Beach in Taormina

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..

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Regular trains to and from Messina and Catania. However the station (called Taormina-Giardini) is on the seafront 2km below the centre. There are some buses taking you to Taormina(cost is around 1,70 euros), 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.

By bus[edit]

Regular buses to and from Messina and Catania. Ticket for express bus from Catania Bus Station costs around 3,70 Euros.

By plane[edit]

Look for flights to Catania. There you can rent a car to get to Taormina.

By ship[edit]

Cruise ships occasionally visit, but must anchor/moor offshore. Passengers bus or taxi up to the town.

Get around[edit]

By foot[edit]

The main street of Taormina is pedestrianised, making it easy to wander around by foot.

By car[edit]

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 to see proof of booking. In alternative, it's better to park the car at one of the 2 large public parkings ('Parcheggio Lumbi' or "Parcheggio Porta Catania") that you encounter on the outskirts of the city coming in. From there, either walk to the city center (just 2 min from 'Parcheggio Porta Catania'/around 10 min but uphill from 'Parcheggio Lumbi') or catch the shuttle buses running continuously to the center.

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.

See[edit]

  •    Teatro Greco (Greek theatre). Impressive open-air (mainly 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.

Do[edit]

  • 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
  • A vintage self drive excursion or a themed tour on a classic Fiat 500, starting from Taormina and Giardini Naxos area. The most popular excursions are themed on the Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather movie and on the Etna Wines Road. You can reach amazing villages like Savoca, Forza D’Agrò and Taormina.500 Vintage Tour - Classic car hire & tours - Taormina - Phone +393497234906 - Email: info@500vintagetour.com - Website: 500 Vintage Tour [1]
  • The Bombocrep Club, which is located along the main front of the beach*

Buy[edit]

There are plenty of souvenir shops. The Limoncello - a sweet lemon alcoholic drink served chilled after a meal is refreshing and sold widely.

Eat[edit]

Taormina has plenty of restaurants. The Spada - Swordfish is recommended. Though tourists should remember that Swordfish numbers are in decline and eating them may accelerate their demise.

  • Arancini in Corso2 Piazzetta Leone 392 8599198. Traditional and creative takes on arancini and other Sicilian street food. Recently opened by two young women entrepreneurs.
  • Ristorante pizzeria MirageVia 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 on the background.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Gianni House, 47 Via Pergusa, Giardini-Naxos. Rated the #1 Hostel In Sicily
  • Hotel Del Corso +39 0942 628698fax: +39 0942 629856. Corso Umberto 238 - Porta Catania, -. Hotel del Corso, on Corso Umberto I and the Naxos Bay, in the heart of Taormina.
  • Hotel Victoria +39 0942 23372fax: +39 0942 623567. Corso Umberto, 81 - 98039 Taormina, -. Hotel Victoria is situated right in the heart of the historical centre of Taormina, directly on Corso Umberto, the famous pedestrian district.
  • 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 euros. Good location, spacious, and clean accommodation for all travellers. [2].

Mid-range[edit]

  • Hotel Jonic Strada Statale 114, n. 224 Tel: +39 0942 23112 - fax. +39 0942 628515" URL: [3]. 3 star hotel overlooking the Bay of Mazzaró in the historical part of Taormina. 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 [4]. In a scenic location in Taormina, just a stone's throw from the town center. Also, it's only a few metres from the bus station, making it exceedingly easy to reach if you're considering the cheapest and smartest way to travel from Catania airport.
  • Grand Hotel Timeo, Via Teatro Greco, 59, + 39 0942 23801 [5]. 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[6]
  • Hotel Villa Caterinafax: +39 0942. Via Silipigni, 17, 98039 Taormina (MESSINA), Ph. +39 0942.24709.24709. Among the sweet scents and colors of Sicily, a warm hospitality in a dream setting. A splendid villa immersed in greenery, just a few steps away from the sea and the old town center of Taormina. Twin room from 102€.
  • Hotel Villa Gaia +39 0942 23185fax: +39 0942 23185. Via Fazzello, 34, 98039 Taormina (MESSINA). The 2** Hotel Villa Gaia is situated in the historic center of Taormina, just 30 meters from the Duomo, a splendid example of sixteenth-century Gothic architecture, and the famous Corso Umberto I, the most elegant street in the city, with its high fashion boutiques and antique shops. Single room from 85€, double from 120€.
  • Hotel Villa Il Glicine 0039 0942 23112fax: 0039 0942 628515. Viale S. Pancrazio 25-27, 98039 Taormina (MESSINA). The Villa Il Glicine is a group of family sized luxury apartments with private terraces and facilities and the services of the nearby 3 star Hotel Jonic for extra convenience. Full kitchen facilities and home comforts are all provided in this brand new structure.
  • Hotel Villa Schuler +39 0942 23481fax: +39 0942 23522. Piazzetta Bastione/Via Roma, I-98039 Taormina. 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, conveniently located to all major attractions. Easily reachable by car and 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 5 Junior Suites with scenic views, 24H room service, parking, garages, solarium, sport activities and shuttle-service to the hotel-beach. Free wi-fi. Doubles from 138€ Special offers updated online with low season periods also from 79€.
  • Hotel Taodomus, Taormina, Sicily, Italy, Corso Umberto, 224, I-98039 Taormina. Tel. 0039 (0)942 62 83 15 - Fax 0039 (0) 942 62 44 46 [7] [8]. Situated in the very historical centre, just in Taormina’s main street, the Taodomus hotel gives to his guest the chance to taste the magic atmosphere of Sicily, made of history, culture, art, shopping and nightlife. The Taodomus hotel Taormina, the best place for people who want to relax in a refined, quiet and welcoming space, is located between piazza del Duomo, with its famous baroque fountain, and Porta Catania, where Taormina’s main street, Corso Umberto I di Taormina, begins.
  • Hotel Caparena +39 (0)942 65 20 33fax: +39 (0) 942 36 913. Via Nazionale, 189, 98039 Taormina. [9]. Spacious rooms and luxurious living, the Hotel Caparena is a 4 star hotel located right on the beach in Taormina. Hotel features 3 restaurants, 3 bars and a Wellness and beauty centre.
  • Residence degli Agrumi (Residence degli Agrumi), Via Di Giovanni 67 +39 0942-24218, e-mail: . 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.

Splurge[edit]

  • Hotel Giardino dei Greci, C.Da Sirina - Via dei Sei Mulini 98030 Giardini Naxos (Messina), Tel. +39 0942.51514, Fax +39 0942.550079 [10]. Right on the bay of Taormina, the delightful sea, ancient history and Sicilian traditions combined with lively summer gathering places, seaside promenades and sophisticated and typical locales.
  • review="I stayed there for 7 nights, great pool very deep and large despite what images look like! great room service and layout. Good sized rooms, and great Air Con"
  • Hotel Imperialevia Circonvallazione, 11 - 98039 - Taormina (ME) +39 0942 625202fax: +39 0942 625978, e-mail: . Located in the heart of Taormina's historic centre, the historic Hotel Imperiale was built at the beginning of the 20th century and reopened in 2009 after restructuring works. The design and the restructuring has been carried out in full observance of the styles and local materials, such as the widely used volcanic stone, and has been adapted to modern requirements.
  • Hotel Méditerranée 0039 0942 23901fax: 0039 0942 21231. Via Circonvallazione, 61, •. Top quality 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 +39 0942 51776fax: +39 0942 51671. Via Crocifisso, 30, 98039. Villa Sirina is a historic villa located at the foot of Taormina with a wonderful view of the blue sea of Giardini-Naxos Bay.
  • Hotel Villa Taormina, Via Tommaso Fazzello, 39, 98039 Taormina (Messina), Ph. +39 0942 620072, Fax +39 0942.623003 [11]. An antique residence in the heart of Taormina surrounded by a typical Sicilian garden full of perfumed essences hosts the Hotel Villa Taormina, a small luxurious residence. Antique furnishings, a panoramic terrace with a splendid view.
  • Hotel Villa Sant Andrea, The Hotel Villa Sant'Andrea is ideally located on the bay of Mazzarò, in the immediate proximity of Taormina.

It was built in 1830 by an aristocratic British family, and was transformed into a hotel in 1950. It's the ideal centre to admire the artistic and natural beauties of Eastern Sicily, Castelmola, Naxos and the Alcantara's Gorges, Etna Mountain, the baroque Acireale, and of course Catania and Siracusa. 0.

Go next[edit]

  • 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 3000m 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.

37.8520; 15.2870Map mag.png
This city travel guide to Taormina has the status usable. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page