One of Sicily’s most cherished holiday resort towns, Taormina combines the charm of scented citrus groves with ancient Roman architecture, centuries-old city squares and ceramic-infused boutiques and galleries. With views of Mount Etna and the sprawling remains of a magnificent Roman amphitheatre, it’s no wonder that D.H. Lawrence huddled in Taormina to write his now-famous “Lady Chatterley's Lover”.
Things to do in Taormina
Stroll down Corso Umberto 1, where upscale boutiques beckon on the way to the 10th-century Palazzo Corvai. Explore the interior of Chiesa San Giuseppe, a jewel-box church made of marble, Syracuse stone and rococo stuccowork or admire the 12th-century Torre dell’Orologio clock tower and impressive baroque fountain in Piazza Duomo.
If you’re visiting Taormina in the warmer months, check the schedule for film festivals and international art shows at Teatro Greco, a massive horseshoe-shaped Greek theatre balancing between the sea and the sky. Take a breather at Villa Comunale, a collection of tropical-clad public gardens with plenty of picnic spots.
Tromp through local boutiques and pick up trinkets at Carlo Mirella Panarello, an artsy shop known for citrus-themed ceramics and one-of-a-kind hats and jewellery. For more Sicilian tiles, pop into Kerameion, then scoop up bottles of local olive oil, honey and wine at La Torinese.
Want to dine on genuine Sicilian cuisine? Visit Il Barcaiolo trattoria at the end of Mazzaro beach to sample regional specialties, such as Mazara shrimp with local citrus fruits. Slip into the night at Morgana for dazzling citrus cocktails in a courtyard of orange trees.
Getting around Taormina
Taormina is pedestrian-friendly, while buses, taxis, cable cars, bicycles and scooters are readily available. You can rent a car in town or at Catania International Airport, about a one-hour drive away.