Taormina is a charming hillside town and is one of the island's popular 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.
- 1 Servizio Turistico Regionale di Taormina (Ufficio informazioni turistico), Largo Santa Caterina (Palazzo Corvaja), ☎ . Mo-Fr 8:30-14:30,15:30-19.00 + May-Nov Sa 9:00-13:00, 16:00-18:30.
- 2 Taormina-Giardini (at the seafront just below the historical centre of the town (approx. 2km south-west)). Local and regional buses connect the station with the town's centre. Walking from the station uphill to the town's centre is scenic but it could be exhausting, especially as the old shortcut towards Via Madonna delle Grazie is destroyed.
Having said this perhaps it could be more convenient to take a regional bus from your location instead of a train.
- 3 Bus hub. Regular buses to and from Messina and Catania. Ticket for express bus from Catania Bus Station costs around €3.70.
Cruise ships occasionally visit, but must anchor/moor offshore. Passengers bus or taxi up to the town.
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.
Most of the centre of Taormina is pedestrianised, making it easy to wander around by foot.
By cable car
- 4 Funivia Taormina. Mo 9:00-22:00, Tu-Sa 8:00-22:00. AMT also runs a frequent cable car service down to the beach at Mazarro. €3.
Despite of its relatively small size the town in rich in history.
- 1 Teatro Antico (Teatro Greco), Via del Teatro Greco, 1. Nov-Feb 09:00-16:00, Mar Oct 09:00-17:30, Apr Sep 09:00-18:30, May-Aug 09:00-19:00. Impressive open-air (mainly ancient Roman) theatre, with great views up and down the coast and across to Mount Etna. €10.
- 2 Piazza IX Aprile. A square with a balcony facing the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Etna. In the corner of the square stands the
- 3 Torre dell'Orologio/ Porta di Mezzo,. A clock tower and gate to the southern part of Taormina.
- 4 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.
- 5 Odeon. Remains of a small theatre built by Romans in 21 B.C.
- 6 Parco Duca di Cesarò (Villa Comunale), Via Bagnoli Croci.
- 7 Palazzo Badia Vecchia. It was though that this fine Gothic tower used to host an abbey (Abbazzia).
- 8 Palazzo dei Duchi di Santo Stefano. Built in a style similar to Badia Vecchia. Now it's a site of the Fondazione Mazzullo, which hosts a collection of numerous works of the artist Giuseppe Mazzullo.
- 9 Naumachie. The remains of a 120 m long Roman structure. Probably it was a part of nymphaeum, with a monumental fountain. Now it's merely foundation for a few buildings.
- 10 Isola Bella (Parco di Isolabella). Dec-Mar Tu-Su 09:00-14:00. Island downhill Taormina, beatiful landscape from the beach. It is possible to enter paying 4 Euros but you only get access to some little mirador with two chairs and no access to the inside of the island and interior pool or housings. €4.
- 11 Villa Caronia, Via Luigi Pirandello, 105. T-F 09:30-13:30. €4.
- Wander up and down the main street - Corso Umberto I taking in the sights
- Walk a path from Castelmola village to Taormina (or vice versa if you feel yourself fit). NB: Don't use a pedestrian path between Taormina and railway station – it's dangerous!
- There are plenty of souvenir shops.
While visiting Taormina, particularly on a hot day it's worth visiting a gelateria or ice-cream shop. Get some gelsi (mulberry) granita, or some other delicious gelato.
- Gelatomania, Corso Umberto, 7, ☎ .
Taormina has plenty of restaurants. Spada - swordfish - is recommended, except that swordfish stocks are threatened, so use your own judgment.
- 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. Negative reviews.
- Casa Giolì Art Restaurant, Street Giordano Bruno, 8, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the historic center of Taormina, next to the Dome of the city. Revisited dishes of Sicilian gastronomy. Prices are high.
- 1 Al Giardino, Via Bagnoli Croci, 84. good food and friendly service.
- Gianni House, 47 Via Pergusa, Giardini-Naxos.
- Hotel Del Corso, Corso Umberto 238 - Porta Catania, ☎ , fax: .
- Hotel Victoria, Corso Umberto, 81 (Historical centre), ☎ , fax: .
- Youth Hostel. 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, ☎ , fax: . 3-star hotel overlooking the Bay of Mazzaró in the historical centre. Close to the transport link down to the beach.
- [dead link]Hotel La Pensione Svizzera Taormina, via Luigi Pirandello, 26 - 93039, ☎ , fax: . In a scenic location in Taormina, outside the town center and a few metres from the bus station.
- [dead link]Grand Hotel Timeo, Via Teatro Greco, 59, ☎ . 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), ☎ . Twin room from 102€.
- Hotel Villa Gaia, Via Fazzello, 34 (30 metres from the Duomo), ☎ , fax: . 2-star hotel. Single room from 85€, double from 120€.
- Hotel Villa Il Glicine, Viale S. Pancrazio 25-27, ☎ , fax: . 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, ☎ , fax: . 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. Doubles from 155€. Special offers updated on their official website with low season periods also from 92€.
- [dead link]Hotel Taodomus, Corso Umberto, 224, ☎ , fax: . In the historical centre.
- Ariston, Via Bagnoli Croce, ☎ , fax: .
- Hotel Caparena, Via Nazionale, 189, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: caparena@gaishotels. 4-star hotel with spacious rooms on the beach. Features 3 restaurants, 3 bars and a wellness and beauty centre.
- [dead link]Residence degli Agrumi, Via Di Giovanni 67, ☎ , 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, ☎ , fax: . Castle-like Sicilian villa.
- Taormina hotel Villa Ducale, Via Leonardo da Vinci 60, ☎ , fax: . Boutique hotel.
- [dead link]Hotel Giardino dei Greci, C.Da Sirina - Via dei Sei Mulini 98030 Giardini Naxos, ☎ , fax: . 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), ☎ , fax: , 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, ☎ , fax: . 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.
- [dead link]Hotel Villa Sirina, Via Crocifisso, 30, 98039, ☎ , fax: . 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.
- 5 Danger: Percorso pedonale Taormina - Mare (between Via Madonna delle Grazie and lower Taormina next to the railway station). Don't use it! It's dangerous. The path in its lower part is destroyed by a landslide. The rest of the path is still walkable, but its condition is extremely poor and unsafe.
- 1 Castelmola (5km above Taormina; 15 min. by Interbus working days: 09:40, 10:40, then every 2h until 18:40, Sundays less frequently). Castelmola is built around the ruins of the former Norman castle at the place which is used to be the acropolis of Taormina. Take a bus to this beautiful village then walk downhill enjoying magnificent views. Castelmola is a member of I Borghi più belli d'Italia, an association of small Italian towns. NB: Bear in mind though that the path was neglected for some period of time: the paved path is still fairly safe, but beware of handrails as they are literally falling apart.
- Giardini Naxos - a popular resort just below Taormina. Enjoy its beaches, hike along the Alcantara and see its gorge.
- Mount Etna - Plenty of agencies offer day trips there. 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 province 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.