Jewel of the Sicilian coast: sights and tastes of Taormina

Hanna Johnson is once again getting us hooked on the charms of Sicily with her latest article and this time the spotlight is on wonderful Taormina. The pictures alone make you want to book the first flight there and soak up its bewitching atmosphere!

Have you ever been to Sicily? Well, you are missing out on a lot if your answer is no! I have been there last summer and it was the best trip of my life! A friend of mine told me about this wishsicily website where I found affordable holiday villas in Sicily. You can filter by area of interest or number of bedrooms and even read customers feedback, like on tripadvisor.

In Sicily, you are sure to find an island full of surprises. With great food, wonderful history, and stunning natural beauty, the southernmost Italian island will not disappoint. So, life is good, vacation is good, and company is good. What else are you waiting for? Let me share with you the best places in Sicily you must visit!

If you love both the sea and the mountains, Taormina is the place to go. It is a tiny hilltop town with an amazing view of Mount Etna on one side and the lovely southeastern Sicilian coast on the other. It is also famous for the ancient Greek theatre which has been wonderfully preserved. Besides visiting the theatre, here are some more things to do while in Taormina:

Take a stroll down Corso Umberto I. This street is right below the Greek theatre, and it is full of wonderful restaurants with classic cuisine from Taormina. You will find lots of boutiques with ceramics, jewelry and clothing as well. If you visit during the spring, fall or summer, check out the website of the Greek theatre for concerts. These concerts are world famous for their acoustic quality and panoramic beauty. The setting could not be more enchanting.

Soak in the scene at Piazza IX Aprile. This is the centre of town, and you will get a real flavor of Taormina life here. It is bordered by two gorgeous churches, and lots of great little cafes. I personally recommend the Wunderbar. Many celebrities also chose this cafe as their favourite, from the likes of Elizabeth Taylor to Richard Burton.

View of Isola Bella with flowers in Taormina, Sicily, Italy (photo by Bandika)

Head down to the coast and Isola Bella. Isola Bella is an island that you can actually wade to when tide is low. It is right off the coast and the panorama is postcard perfect. The beach in front is a little crowded, but it is definitely worth a trip down as the view is absolutely stunning.  If you want a more sandy and less crowded beach, head just a bit further east towards Catania. Here you will find long white sand beaches with lots of space to lay out and lounge in the sun. But make sure to bring sun screen, because in Sicily the sun is very strong!

Visit Mount Etna. Mount Etna is Europe’s largest and most active volcano. It is the second highest mountain in the country at 3,343 meters tall. There have been more than 100 known eruptions of the volcano and the most recent one was just in 1992. So be careful as you are hiking up, it could blow again! There are also lots of great cantinas you can stop at that will offer great food and wonderful wine grown right on the slopes of the volcano. There are also many day tours available.

Visit the old clock tower of Taormina. As you come from the historic centre, the clock tower will be on your left. When go through the passageway within, you will find a wonderful Byzantine mosaic which has become an icon of the island. It is called Theotokos, which means “The Mother of God.” It is absolutely breathtaking. It is a hidden part of the town which is not often visited by tourists, so this is a good place to go if you want to stay off the beaten path.

Taormina, Photo by Nick Tempest

Featured Image by GAP Antonino Gitto

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