Taormina, between history and enchantment

Teatro Antico in taormina (c) IgorZh/ Shutterstock.com
Teatro Antico in taormina (c) IgorZh/ Shutterstock.com
Perched on a rocky plateau of Mount Tauro overlooking the Ionian Sea, the city of Taormina reveals itself in all its beauty, among majolica, Greek ruins and breathtaking views.

From a first glance Taormina, a small town located east of Sicily, in the province of Messina, amazes for its blaze of colors, ranging from the blue of the sea to the green of its gardens, passing through the orange of the majolica and the pale pink of its houses.

The panoramic view that can be enjoyed from the city is no less beautiful and embraces from the peaks of Mount Etna to the Strait of Messina until reaching, on particularly clear days, the nearby region of Calabria. To echo the words of Guy de Maupassant, in Taormina “you can find everything that seems created on earth to seduce the eyes, mind and imagination”.

For centuries the destination of the Grand Tour of nobles and intellectuals visiting Italy, Taormina is the guardian of a millenary history, as evidenced by one of its symbolic places: the Teatro Antico. Built around the 3rd century BC, the Teatro Antico still bears the signs of its Greek past. On some steps you can still read the engraving of the name of Philistide, wife of the tyrant of Syracuse who had it built. In Roman times the theater was then expanded to transform from a place of culture to a place of leisure. Similarly to the Colosseum of Rome, in fact, the theater hosted gladiator fights and, it is thought, even naval battles.

Among the not-to-be-missed gems in Taormina, in addition to the panoramic Piazza IX Aprile, considered the “good living room” of the city, stands out Isola Bella, a rocky islet rich in vegetation connected to Taormina by a small strip of sand and reachable on foot with the favor of the tide. Attention, however, as access to the island is on payment and reserved for small groups of tourists at a time. Finally, the Gardens of the Villa Comunale are a must for lovers of photography thanks to their view of the sea and their wealth of rare plants and flowers.

During your visit, browsing here and there through alleys, narrow streets and picturesque views, be sure to stop and taste the traditional Sicilian granita or the typical arancini. They can be found everywhere, starting from the cafes overlooking the square to the numerous street banquets.