Taormina square

How to spend a relaxing day in Taormina, Sicily

Taormina is a wonderful and little gem in Sicily. It is a characteristic medieval town with typical narrow streets. It has an unquestionable charm, because it is situated on a terrace of Monte Tauro between the sea and the Mount Etna. Taormina is a must for anyone visiting Sicily. Here are a few tips to enjoy a relaxing day in Taormina.

NOTE: Taormina is only 30 minutes from Catania. I planned a 3 days travel itinerary to visit Catania and its Sicilian Baroque, if you want to stay more than one day.

Taormina squareMorning:

In the morning, head to Isola Bella. Enjoy the crystal clear waters and soak up the sun. Usually, when I’m at the beach I prefer to eat a light sandwich and then going to a restaurant for dinner. I remind you that the prices are high in Taormina and not always the quality of the food is excellent, because it is a touristic place.

Isola Bella in TaorminaIf you like fish and you are not satisfied with a sandwich go to Pizzichella Restaurant. It is on the beach, just beyond the stairs and it offers a seafood cuisine. The view is on Isola Bella. The price/quality ratio is good. You can also have lunch on the boat, during the excursions the staff organizes. You can visit Grotta Azzurra and swimming in these waters.

Grotta Azzurra Isola Bella Taormina

TIP: Another solution for your meal is the self service La Cucina Riccobono in Via Costantino Patricio. Good food, cheap prices. No more than €15 or less to eat a complete meal! Nothing better than a good homemade lasagna or whatever you desire.

Afternoon:

Walk through the center. Head to the Greek Theatre and you will be delighted by the ruins of this ancient theatre: columns and steps. This place gives you a stunning view: Etna and the Bay of Naxos. The theatre is still used for performances and events. Go at dusk!

Taormina Greek Theatre

Greek Theatre in Taormina at duskThen, take Corso Umberto I, Taormina’s main street with small alleys, steps, artisans’ workshops and typical restaurants. If you are with your loved one and you want to celebrate a special event have dinner in one of the most romantic restaurants in Taormina!

Taormina streetsThe most famous alley in Taormina is called Vicolo Stretto. There are many travellers who take photos here!

Taormina Vicolo strettoMy favourite bar to eat a delicious icecream is Gelatomania. The price for a cone is €3 and you can put more than one flavour on it. I’m telling it because in the Northern of Italy it is used to pay as many icecream balls as you put. Fortunately here not! I do love icecream! 😉

At the beginning of Corso Umberto I there is the Chiesa di Santa Caterina, which stands on the ruins of the Odeon, built on a Greek temple perhaps dedicated to Aphrodite. When you enter the Church you will see, on the right, the ruins of Greek-Roman era walls and cobbled, enclosed by a wrought iron railing. The portal is made of pink marble from Taormina, while all the openings of the facade are made of a typical stone from Syracuse.

Chiesa Santa Caterina in TaorminaDuring your walk you will notice characteristic expensive boutiques but also shops of handmade products and sweets. Reach Piazza IX Aprile,whose characteristic is the black and white floor and the view, object of many shots by tourists. Here there is the Baroque Chiesa di San Giuseppe, located right next to the clock tower. On the right, there is the ex Chiesa di Sant’Agostino.

Taormina PIazza IX Aprile view

Taormina - Piazza IX Aprile

Piazza IX Aprile in TaorminaThe view from Piazza IX Aprile is breathtaking! Stop for taking some photos.

Taormina viewNear Taormina there is another nice village to visit Castelmola. You could have dinner here, because the prices are lower.

Visit Taormina if you are in Sicily! Do you like it?

10 replies
  1. Allison Southard says:

    Maria- we are coming to Sicily (Messina) on a cruise and are able to spend one day. We have chosen to spend our day in Taormina. All of the excursions from the boat are very expensive and a little restricting. Would it be safe for us to just take the train from Messina and find things to do Taormina on our own when we get there -explore and maybe like a short boat ride, etc.? Can you generally just walk up and schedule something like that? On the spot? Also – we have to be back to our boat in Messina by 8 PM– are there evening trains and buses? Or will that be a problem?

    Reply
    • Maria Orlando says:

      Yes Clo, it is early for a swim, water is cold even in July/August.

      I cannot imagine how much cold it could be in March, but don’t miss Isola Bella, ok? If you are brave enough you can have a swim, or perhaps it is better to put only your feet inside the water lol 😉

      Reply
  2. Sam Torres says:

    Maria,
    Thank you for the wonderful pieces of advice. We are visiting Sicily right now (as I write this) and we plan to have one day trip from Catania to Taormina. Do you you know which bus company has late in the day returns from Taormina to Catania?
    Thank you

    Reply

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