Escape to Taormina, located on the east coast of Sicily near Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe.
A breathtaking medley of ancient Greek-Roman architecture and stunning vistas perched on the side of a mountain, Taormina is one of Sicily's most popular summer destinations, offering luxury and a taste of Sicilian dolce vita for holidaymakers. A hillside town on the Eastern coast of Italy steeped in history, this hotspot near Mount Etna offers impressive sea views wherever you turn. Coves with white sandy beaches lead you along a narrow stretch to Isola Bella, a tiny Island that plays home to a nature reserve.
Extremely busy during the summer months, we recommend a trip during April, May, September or October.
Where to Stay
Set on the Mazzarò Bay, this elegantly furnished 1830s hotel is only a short walk from main attractions including Isola Bella, Palazzo Corvaia and the theatre. Bright, luxurious suites with lounge areas and marble bathrooms look onto garden and sea views for a peaceful retreat. A complimentary breakfast buffet is served on the terrace to start each morning correctly before heading to the private beach, beach bars or pool.
Dramatic views of Mount Etra will leave you spellbound at this hillside hotel. With classic Sicilian-style, Belmond Grand Hotel is also up to date with all the modern electronic accessories you'll need. Enjoy e-readers by the pool, lunch on the terrace, a private beach, boat tours and a trip to the spa before sampling dinner from one of the hotel's two restaurants.
An elegant renaissance-inspired hotel, suites are romantically furnished with hardwood floors and wooden furniture, with upgrade options offering private jacuzzis, terraces with sea views and lounge areas. There is plenty to do here, set 1km from the Ancient theatre of Taormina and 3.5km from Bella Island, as well as a tennis court, pool, gym, spa and beauty salon to keep you busy.
What to Do
Godfather Tour- visit the real-life locations of classic scenes from the Godfather Trilogy as this coach tour takes you around Taormina and the surrounding province. See the famous Bar Vitelli, among other places you’ll recognize from the films, while your guide tells stories about the movies and Sicily.
Charter a Boat/Water Sports- fully immerse yourself in coastal living with a large variety of water sports and boat trips on offer. Whether a relaxing mini cruise is your idea of an activity or you want something a little more involved from learning to become a fisherman, snorkelling or a full day's diving lesson, there is something for everyone on the coast of Taormina.
Taormina Centro- head into the town centre for beautiful ancient architecture, high-end shopping and cafe stops. The Corso Umberto, Taormina's main pedestrian shopping street, runs through the centre of the town and has everything you need for a relaxing day of strolling and browsing. At the western end in the old section of Taormina is the site of the Church of San Nicola, a 1400 AD church in Piazza Duomo. In the centre of the square is a Baroque fountain that contains a centaur, the Greek mythology symbol for Taormina.
What to See
The Theatro Greco- A must-see, the ancient Greek theatre of Taormina is a top attraction. The charming natural settings leads the theatre to offer a splendid view toward the Calabrian coast, the Ionian coast of Sicily and the spectacular cone of Etna. Events are still held here almost daily, so make sure to book tickets during your visit.
Isola Bella- Also known as The Pearl of the Ionian Sea, this small island located off the coast of Taormina was once privately owned by Florence Trevelyan, a pioneering conservationist, until 1990 when it was bought back by Sicily and turned into a nature reserve. A small sandy path from the shore often connects the island to the mainland to allow visitor access to its beach.
Mount Etna- With a height of 10,922 ft, Mount Etna is today one of the most active volcanoes in the world, with an almost constant state of activity. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was said to be trapped under this mountain by the god of the skies Zeus. The fertile volcanic soil around the Mountain has lead to strong agriculture, with vineyards and orchards covering the expanse of the lower slopes towards the south, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Where to Eat
La Capinera- Considered as one of the best restaurants in Italy, this michelin-starred restaurant comes alive with the creativity of head chef D'Agostino. Reinterpritations of traditional Sicilian cuisine is made from top quality local produce. La Capinera, Via Nazionale, 177, 98039 Spisone, Taormina, Italy +39 (0) 942 626247
Ristorante Al Duomo- Overlooking the beautiful Cathedral and XIV century fountains in the square in Taormina, the unusual combination of Chef Giuseppe Cannizzaro’s experience combined with the creative energy of the young Chef Gianluca Lizzio will give you a unique food experience. We recommend the octopus or salt cod. Ristorante al Duomo, Vico Ebrei, 98039, Taormina, Italy +39 (0) 942 625656
Osteria Nero D'Avola- This romantic Italian seafood restaurant offers local cuisine at its best. Situated outside San Domenico Palace, grab a table on the rooftop for sunset views over Taormina to accompany your dinner. Osteria Nero D’Avola, Piazza San Domenico, 2, 98039 Taormina, Italy +39 (0) 942 628874
Osteria RossoDivino- Settled in the heart of the city centre, this concept restaurant offers a new menu daily based on fresh, local produce picked each day from the town's markets. Innovative dishes based on traditional Arabic and Sicilian cooking are followed by live Jazz music and wine tasting. Osteria RossoDivino, Vico de Spuches, 8, 98039, Taormina, Italy +39 (0) 942 628653
DRESSING FOR THE DOLCE VITA
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