Isola Bella, charming nature reserve in Taormina

Isola Bella, which means “Beautiful Island” in Italian, is a wild and small nature reserve in Taormina (here is how to spend a day in Taormina). This charming island is an extension of the mainland connected by a thin strip of shingle beach that you can see when the tide is low. Ferdinand I of Bourbon, King of the Two Sicilies, donated it to the town of Taormina. In 1890, the island was purchased by a rich English aristocrat, Lady Florence Trevelyan. She was exiled to Sicily by the Queen Victoria after a dalliance with the future King Edward VII. Then she married the Professor Salvatore Cacciola. She built a small house on the Island and planted exotic plants. Thanks to Lady Trevelyan we have such a charming island in Taormina. It is protected by WWF and it has been declared Nature Reserve thanks to its beauty and untouched nature.

The beach extends over about 2 km and consists of gravel and pebbles. The sea is clear.

NOTE: Beware of jellyfish which often inhabit these waters, especially if you decide to snorkel. Always carry a tube of ammonia, my inseparable friend 😉

In Isola Bella there are areas where the beach is private but there are also areas where you can lay down without paying anything. The pebbles are not very comfortable and staying all day lying down could be tiring.

NOTE: Do not forget your water shoes. You can also buy them at Isola Bella. They cost about €5.

Isola Bella has got a natural museum. The entrance is €4. There is no much to see here, so enjoy the beach and the peaceful atmosphere of this place or choose the boat excursion to get around the island, the price is about €25 per person for only 50 minutes.

How to reach Isola Bella

BY CABLE CAR: If you’re in Taormina, the Mazzarò cable car will take you to Isola Bella in just 5 minutes, allowing you to enjoy a breathtaking landscape. Departure from Via Luigi Pirandello. Go along the main road and after about 200 mt you will be at your destination. Go down the staircase. The cable car runs every 15 minutes, and it is open from 7.45am to 20.00pm daily, except Mondays, when the opening is scheduled at 8.45am.

The price of a one-way ticket is € 3. You can also choose a subscription: daily (price €10), weekly (€30), monthly (€50).

BY FOOT: If you want to go for a walk, go through Via Pirandello until the Belvedere “Isola Bella” where there is a path that takes you directly to the entrance of the Reserve.

Isola Bella is nice for people who want to relax surrounded by a wild nature. Enjoy this beautiful landscape 🙂

6 replies
  1. Barry says:

    Mille grazie Maria,

    I will ensure that you are at the very top of the list to access my “new estates”

    Ciao x

      • Barry says:

        Hi again Maria,

        Well Isola Bella lived up to all expectations … and more. We paid our respects to “Cousin Florence” and thanked her for her endeavours for having the fortitude and insight in creating such wonderful and beautiful surroundings.

        Mario, our breakfast host at Mendolia Beach Hotel was both charming and equally as informative about the area and could relate tales about Isola Bella and her subsequent “owners”, his father having been the gardener there for many years.

  2. Barry says:

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you so much for all the information about Isola Bella. My fiancee and I are staying at Hotel Mendolia in August.
    Amazingly, after deciding on this destination, I have discovered that I am (very distantly) related to Florence Trevelyan, so this has added a whole new aspect to our visit. I do not think that such a distant connection would allow me to “stake my claim” on Isola Bella and her other amazing properties, but I am so looking forward to visiting.

    • Maria Orlando says:

      This is amazing Barry!!! I’m so excited to know you are related to Florence Trevelyan!!! LOL I don’t think you can stake your claim on the island but if you can, please, let me free access to Isola Bella, it’s one of my favourite places <3

      Ciao!!!! 🙂


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