What to see in Taormina, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the Greek Theater, the Cathedral of San Nicolò, Isola Bella, beaches, Giardini Naxos and Gole Alcantara.
Town of Sicily, located in an authentic scenario of natural beauty, Taormina is known worldwide for the grandeur of its panoramas and its picturesque location, as well as for the mild climate and the importance of its artistic heritage.
Perched on the sides of Monte Tauro, it can be reached by taking Via Pirandello, a winding road that opens its gaze towards characteristic and pleasant views.
Tauromenion, ancient name of Taormina, from the seat of the Siculi became first an allied city and then a colony of the Romans, reaching its maximum splendor during the Middle Ages.
The acropolis of the ancient city was located at the top of Mount Tauro, while the inhabited area was located along the north-east side, where today there are the remains of the Greek Theater, of the Odeon, a Roman construction of the imperial period found in 1893 , and of Naumachia, a gigantic Roman work characterized by a terracing of the hill to protect a cisternone.
Also noteworthy are the Roman baths, the fifteenth century Ciampoli and Corvaia palaces, the thirteenth century Cathedral, subsequently remodeled, and the Palazzo dei Duchi di Santo Stefano, an elegant work of Sicilian architecture typical of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
However, the beauties of Taormina are not limited only to monuments and palaces, but can be seen in every corner, in every street and every terrace, in the elegant and picturesque aspect that distinguishes its houses, in the richness of its greenery and in the exceptional transparency of the waters of its sea.
Piazza IX Aprile looks like a large terrace from which you can enjoy an incredible panorama that includes the city, the theater, the coast and from which you can see the Etna volcano in the distance. At the end of the square you can see the clock tower.
To its right is the bell tower of the church of San Giuseppe, with a static Baroque appearance, of which the bell tower on which the pyramidal spire rests is clearly visible.
The Cathedral of San Nicolò, built in the thirteenth century on a pre-existing church, was then rebuilt during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, subsequently remodeled in the 1700s.
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Its facade has a beautiful portal dating back to 1636, flanked by two pointed lancet windows and surmounted by a small sixteenth-century rose window, characterized by delicate ornamental motifs.
The interior with three naves is divided by two rows of monolithic marble columns, which support pointed arches.
The central nave and the transept are covered by a wooden trussed ceiling, resting on shelves carved with arabesque motifs.
In the sacristy there is a precious collection of gold objects dating back to various historical periods.
The Greek Theater of Taormina, a masterpiece of Hellenic art, is located on a hill above the city, from which you can enjoy excellent views, ranging from Greek architecture to the natural scenery of the coast completed by the characteristic silhouette of Etna in the background.
The original Hellenic construction of the theater dates back to the third century BC, some changes were introduced by the Romans in the second century after Christ.
The diameter of the theater reaches 109 meters, the capacity was around 5400 seats.
Even today, high-value theatrical performances are held there, the success of which is favored by the exceptional acoustics and the evocative atmosphere of the place.
Along the coast, the beaches of Mazzarò and Spisone are equipped with modern bathing facilities, opposite is the Isola Bella.
Cape Sant’Andrea stretches between Mazzarò beach and Isola Bella beach, where there are sea caves of rare beauty and which can be accessed through a staircase carved into the rock.
Giardini Naxos is located 7 km away from Taormina, a famous seaside and social resort on the coast, where in the past there was a Greek inhabited center.
The most evident remains of the ancient city consist of long sections of walls, the fence of a Sanctuary, a temple, probably dedicated to Aphrodite, and two furnaces for the production of tiles for vases.
The archaeological museum of Naxos, which is located on top of Capo Schisò, a location from which you can enjoy an excellent view, exhibits finds that testify to the various historical periods of the city.
Among the excursions to be made is that of the Alcantara gorges, caves that are located at a distance of 20 km, formed by basaltic rocks with deeply engraved walls, transformed by ancient eruptions and carved by the course of the river of the same name.