Taormina: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

The beautiful Taormina, in the province of Messina, is one of the most famous tourist resorts in Sicily. Known above all for the Ancient Theater of Taormina, this famous Sicilian town is located in a slight hilly position but the presence of cliffs make it descend to the eastern coast of the region. A sandy road connects it to the small but fascinating Isola Bella nature reserve. Not far from the town there are also Giardini Naxos, the famous Mount Etna and the city of Catania.


  1. 10 things to see in Taormina in a weekend
  2. What to see in Taormina in one day: recommended itinerary
  3. Where to eat in Taormina: the best restaurants
  4. What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Taormina
  5. Plan your stay in Taormina: info and useful tips
  6. User questions and comments

10 things to see in Taormina in a weekend

1 - Ancient Theater of Taormina

The Ancient Greek-Roman Theater of Taormina is, together with the Greek Theater of Syracuse, one of the largest Greek theaters in Sicily. In truth, although its construction dates back to the third century BC, the theater complex is completely adapted in Roman style.
Nowadays, in addition to being a tourist attraction and an amazing panoramic location, the theater is also used for concerts, shows and musicals.

  • from both Corso Umberto and the Interbus Terminal the theater can be easily reached on foot in about 10-15 minutes - Get directions
  • opening at 9:00, closing between 16:00 and 19:00 depending on the season
  • full € 10,00, reduced € 5,00 (EU citizens aged 18 to 25), free for children under 18, tenured teachers in Italy, admissions on their birthday, the first Sunday of each month, journalists.
  • walking tour with visit to the Ancient Theater

2 - Isola Bella

Also called "the pearl of the Mediterranean", the characteristic Isola Bella is an island formation connected to the mainland by a narrow path of sand and stones. Since 1998 it has been a Nature Reserve, but it is freely accessible by anyone who wants to discover the fascinating chromatic range of its waters and the wild nature that distinguishes it.
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  • from the Bus Terminal you can walk to Porta Messina and then take the cable car that connects the center of Taormina with Mazzarò and Isola Bella. The cable car ticket costs € 3,00 for a single ride or € 10,00 if you buy a day ticket - Get directions
  • open every day except Monday from 09:00 until one hour before sunset.
  • access to the beaches in front is free, access to the whole island € 4,00, reduced € 2,00, residents € 1,00
  • boat tour on the coast and swimming at Isola Bella

3 - Corso Umberto

It represents the main street of Taormina, the main street of the town and as such is dotted with excellent restaurants, charming souvenir shops, sparkling jewelers and fashion boutiques.
To the north it is bounded byarch of Porta Messina, while to the south fromarch of Porta Catania. During a stay in Taormina it is certainly one of the places where you are most often.

  • Crossing the entire historic city center, Corso Umberto is easily accessible on foot from anywhere - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free, free visit
  • 2 hour guided city tour

4 - Church of the Madonna della Rocca

The Church of the Madonna della Rocca is a picturesque church founded around 1640. This Christian religious site has the particularity of having been carved out of the rock (hence its name) and originally also housed a small hermitage, now abandoned.
On the south-eastern side of the structure there is a large cross that is illuminated at night and is also visible from the center. The third Sunday of September is celebrated the Feast of the Madonna della Rocca.

  • from corso Umberto it is about 800 meters on foot and can be reached with the following route: Via Don Giovanni Bosco - Traversa Marcellini - Salita Castello - Get directions
  • In winter from 9:30 to 12:30. In Summer from 9:30 to 12:30 and from 16:00 to 19:30.
  • Free, free visit

5 - Mazzarò beach

It is the Taormina beach par excellence, the one preferred by the locals as well as by the many tourists who arrive during the summer. This stretch of coast also represents the most elegant Lido of Taormina and this is also evidenced by the presence of various luxury hotels and some charming resorts.
The beach is made up of gravel and small stones and on site it is possible to find both bathing establishments and free areas.
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  • in a few minutes with the cable car from Via Pirandello which runs every 15 minutes - Get directions
  • always accessible.
  • Free, free visit
  • walking tour at sunset and aperitif on the panoramic terrace

6 - Villa Comunale

The Villa Comunale complex is a green oasis located right in the center of the town. The complex of these public gardens is distinguished by a rich variety of flowers and trees also because it was originally the private park of Lady Florence Trevelyan Cacciola, a Scottish noblewoman who married the then mayor of Taormina at the end of the 800th century. Perfect for spending a couple of hours of relaxation, the gardens of the Villa are also a place of choice to admire wonderful views of the coast and Mount Etna.

  • from the Bus Terminal with the Red Circular to Istituto Mediterraneo and then continue on foot. It takes 15 - 20 minutes, the cost is € 1,10 - Get directions
  • in Winter from 09:00 to 20:00; in summer from 09:00 to 24:00.
  • Free, free visit
  • half day private walking city tour

7 - Cathedral of Taormina

Dedicated to the figure of San Nicola, the Taormina cathedral is located in Piazza del Duomo and is distinguished by a decidedly original appearance that makes it almost resemble an ancient manor. From an architectural point of view, the religious building is characterized by a stone facade, by the presence of aimposing bell tower and from the crowning to battlements.
In front of the cathedral it is possible to admire the seventeenth-century baroque fountain at the center of which is the crowned centaur, which is the symbol of the city of Taormina.

  • from the Bus Terminal you can get there on foot in about 20 minutes or by the Red Circular bus stopping at Porta Catania at a cost of € 1,10 - Get directions
  • from 08: 30 20 to: 00.
  • Free, free visit
  • Authorized 3 hour Segway tour

8 - Corvaja Palace

The Corvaja Palace is one suggestive noble villa built in the historic center, in the position where the ancient Roman forum once stood. The construction is distinguished by different architectural styles, by virtue of the various dominations that have occurred over the centuries.
The building still shows today theoriginal Arab plant to which details of Gothic-Catalan and Norman matrix were added gradually.
Currently the complex is the headquarters of the Autonomous Tourist and Tourist Board and on the first floor it houses an ethno-anthropological museum of Sicily.

  • passing through Via Leonardo da Vinci and the SP10 the site can be reached on foot from Corso Umberto in about 20 minutes - Get directions
  • The Ethno-anthropological Museum is open every day, except for Mondays, from 09:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00.
  • full € 2,60, reduced € 1,30

9 - Piazza IX Aprile

This site represents at the same time the public terrace of Taormina and a wonderful panoramic position overlooking the sea. These characteristics make Piazza IX Aprile a very popular place at any time of the day. The square, however, opens onto Corso Umberto and therefore represents a sort of center of gravity of the Taorminese social life. Originally, this clearing was dedicated to Sant'Agostino but then took on its current name in memory of the date when Garibaldi landed in Sicily to free the island from the Bourbons.

  • from the Bus Terminal you can get there on foot in about 20 minutes or by the Red Circular bus stopping at Porta Catania at a cost of € 1,10 - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free, free visit

10 - Spisone beach

This portion of the coast represents one of the most famous beaches in Taormina together with the aforementioned Mazzarò and Villagonia. The beach hosts some bathing establishments, but also areas with free access. The water is clean and transparent and the context is also made very suggestive by the presence of imposing stone formations.

  • one of the best ways to get to Spisone Beach is to take the so-called Beachbus with terminus in Piazza San Pancrazio - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free, free visit

What to see in Taormina in one day: recommended itinerary

The town of Taormina is not that big and therefore also the day trip may be enough to get to know and appreciate some of its naturalistic and architectural beauties.

We start in the morning with breakfast at the Pasticceria Gelateria d'Amore. Coffee and pastry for around € 3,00. It is located just 80 meters from the Ancient Theater, a real must in the city.
After the visit (give it at least an hour), there is still time in the morning to visit the Corvaja Palace, which remains open until 13:00 and is only 100 meters from the theater. Here you can also visit the ethno-anthropological museum.

Lunch at the Granduca restaurant, in the center (corso Umberto I). It is certainly not the cheapest solution in Taormina, but you can have lunch with a panoramic view of the theater or the sea for about € 30,00 per person.
After lunch, walk in the main square, Piazza IX Aprile, perhaps with a dessert or an ice cream in one of the kiosks and bars located in the square.
At the end of Corso Umberto you reach the Cathedral of Taormina, with the bell tower and the beautiful fountain in front.
Before sunset, you cannot miss a visit to Isola Bella, reachable with a nice walk to the "Isola Bella viewpoint" or by taking the cable car in via Pirandello to Mazzarò and then continuing to the right for about 200 meters.

The day ends with a fish dinner at the Da Giovanni restaurant, in Via Nazionale, not far from Isola Bella. With about € 40,00 per person, including drinks, we will crown the day.
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One day itinerary at a glance

  1. Breakfast at the Pasticceria Gelateria d'Amore - cost € 3,00 approximately - Get directions
  2. Ancient theater of Taormina - opening hours: from 9:00 to 16:00 / 19:00 depending on the season - ticket price: full € 10,00 / reduced € 5,00
  3. Covaja Palace - The Ethno-anthropological Museum is open every day, except for Mondays, from 09:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00 - ticket price: full € 2,60, reduced € 1,30
  4. Lunch at the Granduca restaurant - cost € 30,00 per person approximately - Get directions
  5. Piazza IX Aprile and Corso Umberto I - free visit, always accessible
  6. Cathedral of Taormina - opening hours: from 08:30 to 20:00 - ticket price: free
  7. Mazzarò beach - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: free
  8. Beautiful island - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: full € 4,00 reduced € 2,00
  9. Price at the Da Giovanni Restaurant - cost € 40,00 per person approximately - Get directions

Where to eat in Taormina: the best restaurants

  • La Malvasia Restaurant: Italian, Mediterranean cuisine, gastronomic alternatives for vegetarians and vegans. Pasta with sardines, caponata and marinade are particularly recommended.
    Average price per person: € 30,00
    Address and contacts: via Apollo Arcageta 8 (Get directions) / tel: +39 340 3077032
  • 3 / 4uarti Sicilian Antipasteria: Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, typical Sicilian specialties, vegetarian dishes, culinary alternatives for vegans.
    Average price per person: € 27,00
    Address and contacts: Gugliemo Melivia climb, 7 (Get directions) / tel: +39 351 2874780
  • Modì Winery: Seafood, Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Excellent choice of dishes and matching wines.
    Average price per person: € 25,00
    Address and contacts: via Calapitrulli, 13 (Get directions) / tel: +39 0942 23658

What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Taormina

Being one of the most famous tourist resorts in Sicily, the beautiful Taormina also offers a wide choice of clubs and places for nightlife. In general, the taormina nightlife takes place in trendy clubs, trendy clubs, but also in classic venues such as pubs and lounge bars.

The best pubs, clubs and discos

  • The Giara: this nightclub located in the center of Taormina also offers the opportunity to eat in a restaurant with typical Sicilian cuisine and fish specialties. The evening continues with excellent disco and 80s music. Reservations are recommended for the restaurant.
    Address: vico La Florestia, 1 Get directions / Facebook page
  • King of Batons Pub: characteristic and welcoming pub in the course of Taormina. Ideal for a quiet and relaxing evening while enjoying a good rosolio. It also offers a great range of tasty sandwiches and delicious specialties.
    Address: corso Umberto, 120 Get directions / Facebook page
  • Panasia Beach: Located directly on the beach, during the day it acts as a lido while at night it becomes one of the main places of nightlife. It offers pizzeria, Sicilian dishes and sushi bar. Disco, commercial and electronic music.
    Address: via Nazionale - Get directions / Facebook page
  • Septimo: historic local near the heart of the city, offers discogroove and theme nights until 05:00 in the morning enjoying a wonderful view.
    Address: Via San Pancrazio 50 - Get directions
  • Morgana: very fashionable and elegant place where it is easy to meet some VIPs on vacation. It offers music evenings with DJs, theme parties and excellent cocktails.
    Address: Scesa Morgana, 4 - Get directions / Facebook page
  • Caparena: really very nice place, on the beach and with a nice stage available where it organizes evenings and events with national and international artists. We dance until late at night.
    Address: Via Nazionale, 189 - Get directions / Facebook Fan Page

Plan your stay in Taormina: info and useful tips

  • by car A18 motorway with exit Taormina; by plane the nearest airport is Fontanarossa, in Catania (about 55 km) - compare flights to Catania - from € 25,00
  • Getting around: The best way to get around Taormina is on foot, with the bus service or with the cable car that leaves from Via Pirandello. The town, in fact, is not accessible by car which must be left outside the center.
  • Where to park: The most recommended car parks for a stopover near the historic center are the following: Lumbi car park (the city center can be reached with a convenient free shuttle service or on foot via a staircase); Porta Catania car park (a few minutes from Corso Umberto); Porta Pasquale car park (also in the immediate vicinity of Corso Umberto). Those who want to land directly on the sea, on the other hand, can use the Mazzarò car park, near Isola Bella.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 65,00 per room -
  • What to see in the surroundings: Giardini Naxos, Castelmola, Savoca, Calatabiano, Forza d'Agrò, Letojanni, Mount Etna, Alcantara Gorges, Messina, Catania.

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