A quintessential Italian cliffside town, I completely understand that Taormina causes its visitors to decide that they have fallen in love with Italy: with spectacular sea views and the oft snow-capped Mt. Etna in the distance, the town also claims ancient ruins and a 2500+ year old history.
A no-brainer on any itinerary. Just not in high season.
Taormina is in my personal category of Places-That-Are-Definitely-Fabulous-In-Low-Season. In July and August, expect crowds. And yet, it is undeniably worth a visit.
- climb up to the ancient ruins of the teatro Greco, a Greek theatre updated by the Romans (see photo), which is still used for performances;
- spend time in town: visit the cathedral; admire the town’s varied architecture; shop along Corso Umberto; visit the medieval quarter, the entrance to which is marked by a clock tower;
- take in the views from Piazza IX Aprile, or even better from the ruins of the medieval castle on top of Monte Tauro;
- visit the gorgeous beach on Isola Bella
- in the summer, check the performance schedule of Taormina Arte to see a show in the teatro Greco.
In the early 20th century Taormina became a colony of expat intellectuals, artists and writers from around Europe, and I definitely notice a more international vibe than anywhere else in Sicily.
Personally my next visit to Taormina will be in February, because I hear its Carnevale is the best in Sicily.
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