Taormina - Sicily: attractions, map, sightseeing, monuments. Guide, practical information

Taormina - Theater of Dreams

Taormina is a general delight. For centuries.
Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Friedrich Nietzsche, Richard Wagner, Sigmund Freud, Oscar Wilde, Greta Garbo, Liz Taylor, Emperor Wilhelm II, King Edward VII, Tsar Nicholas I ... everyone admired Taormina.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe he said about Taormin: "The greatest work of art and nature".
The French representative of decadentism Guy de Maupassant said: "The town is like a picture, but a picture in which we see everything that seems to exist on earth to attract the eyes, spirit and imagination".
If this is the decadent opinion about Taormina, it must be really good 🙂
In fact, Maupassant expressed it very accurately.
Sitting in the pleasant sun in the Greek-Roman amphitheater behind me, I had mountains, in front of me an ancient theater stage, for which the background is a fabulous color, the shimmering water of the Mediterranean (and specifically the Ionian Sea). The waters of the sea are surrounded by the picturesque Isola Bella bay, as if from the picture, but if that was not enough, in the background everything closes above the cone of Etna volcano. This scenery in practice has no right to exist, but it does exist. If I saw this view, painted by a painter, I would probably consider it a kitsch. After a visit to Taormina, I already know that painters would not exaggerate. They would only recreate what they really saw.
Sometimes, only when the weather breaks slightly or you are unlucky, the clouds cover Etna, which does not deteriorate the huge impression that this place leaves (as in the photo below).

Taomin amphitheater. Unfortunately, Etna was covered by clouds. Sicily, Italy.

Taormina is located on the map of Sicily as follows:

Location of Taormina on the map of Sicily. source: google.pl/maps

Taormina - sightseeing

If you get here by bus or train, there is no big problem. From the train to the center is a bit further and you will have to walk a bit, but the bus will take you quite close.
A little trouble begins when you get here by car. The city is located on a steep slope and every centimeter is at a premium. The streets are narrow and winding. Trying to pack on the street even outside the summer season is a big challenge, what about the season when there are several times more visitors? It's even a pity to try your hand.
Fortunately, Taormina has been equipped with one, multi-storey, large parking lot. Visiting Taormina should therefore start from this parking lot. I marked it on the map of sightseeing below P1. You can find the GPS coordinates of the car park to enter at the end of the entry. These are the coordinates of the main entrance to the parking lot.
Exiting the parking lot you will immediately find yourself near the starting point of the walking route. In principle, Taormina is visited along one representative street turned into a pedestrian street: Corso Umberto (other attractions are not far away from it).

Taormina is one of the points I developed for visiting Sicily including detailed sightseeing maps, information about attractions on the whole island with GPS coordinates for car navigation. If you want to visit Sicily, make sure to read this entry: Sicily - tourist attractions, sightseeing, monuments, map, car rental, vacation. Guide.

Corso Umberto street. Taormina, Sicily.

Corso Umberto starts at the gate Porta Catania (No. 1 on the map). Moving along this street you will come across most of the city's attractions. Before the end of the street, around the gate Messina Gate (No. 4) turn right into the narrow street that will lead you to amphitheater (No 5).
The main attractions are marked on the map with red points, and under the map you will find short descriptions of the attractions.
In addition, you can open the walking route in form active Google map - [click].

Taormina - sightseeing map and main attractions.
1. City gate - Porta Catania

The gate being a fragment of the defensive walls (the first element of the triple fortifications) was erected in 1440 and is also the beginning (from the south) of the main street of the old part of the city: Corso Umberto. The date of construction is on the Aragonian coat of arms above the arch of the gate.
Sometimes the gate is also called Porta del Tocco, because in the Norman period in the neighboring square public meetings were held.

2. Taormina Cathedral and Piazza del Duomo

Built in the thirteenth century, the cathedral is often called the Fortress Kater (La Cattedrale fortezza). It was created on the ruins of a small, medieval church dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Bari.
It has a Latin cross structure with three naves. Taormina pink marble (6 columns inside the cathedral supporting the central nave) were used to build the cathedral.
On the cathedral square there is a fountain from the 16th century, on the top of which you can see the figure of a minotaur, which is also found in the coat of arms of the city.

Taormina Cathedral and the fountain in front of the cathedral.
3. 9 Square, April (Piazza IX Aprile)

The square took its name from gossip ...
On April 9, 1860, during a mass in the cathedral, information arrived in Taormina that Garibaldi had landed in Marsala to begin liberation efforts from the Bourbon rule. The information was announced immediately stopping the service. As it soon turned out, it was just a rumor. Garibaldi actually came to Sicily, but a month later: 9 May. City dwellers proud of the fact that they were ahead of history decided to keep the memory of this event. Hence its name.
The square is also a great viewpoint from which you can see the bay and Mount Etna perfectly.
Previously, the square was called Piazza Sant'Agostino, derived from the name of the church built in 1448, closing one side of the square.
On the opposite side of the square is located The clock tower. Built in the 12th century, it was destroyed by the French army and rebuilt again in the second half of the 17th century. During the reconstruction, a clock was placed on it, from which today the name of the tower comes. The tower is also a transition gate between two parts of the city, creating a system of triple fortifications.
Right next to the tower is the baroque church of San Giuseppe, to which lead a spectacular double staircase.

Clock tower with a passage gate. On the right, the church of San Giuseppe.
Church of San Giuseppe. Taormina, Sicily.
4. City gate - Porta Messina

Porta Messina is the northern entrance to the city and at the same time the third element of the triple fortification system. On it ends the main street of the old part of the city: Corso Umberto. It is also known as Porta Ferdinandea in honor of King Ferdinand IV, who inaugurated its construction.

5. Taormina Amphitheater

The most important Taormina excess. Built in Third century BC. On some steps of the staircase you can see an engraved inscription: Filistide. This is the name of the wife of the tyrant Syracuse, Hieron II, who most likely built an amphitheater.
In the 2nd century AD, the amphitheater was rebuilt and it has retained its form until today.
I have already written about the views from the amphitheater, here I will only add that various artistic events, including concerts, are taking place here.

Taormina Amphitheater. Sicily.
Taormina Greek-Roman amphitheater. Sicilia

10 July this year (2019) a concert of my beloved Dream Theater took place here. Dream Theater played at the Dream Theater (as I called the Taormina amphitheater in the first sentence) ... and the overnight ticket must have been worth a fortune.

Taormina - accommodation

It is a very fashionable town, so accommodation should be expensive, especially in the season. I checked the prices in the end of August, and it's not cheap. A hotel that I could recommend for Booking.com it costs PLN 458 per night for two people (as in the picture below). Further offers are even more expensive.

Taormina - Booking: Hotel Ariston and Palazzo Santa Caterina - [click]

WARNING!!! The content of the offer changes dynamically over time and largely depends on the planned date of arrival. When you click on it it may look different.

Interesting hotel offer during the holiday season (end of August 2019), on Booking.com

It is not cheap, but in September the situation changes radically. For example, an interesting hotel in September, per night for two people can be found on Booking.com already for PLN 227 (without breakfast) or for PLN 283 (with breakfast and free cancellation).
Admittedly, these offers look great.
You can search for them yourself using the tips in the guide: Cheap hotels on Booking? Of course! Check how to find comfortable and cheap accommodation! Barcelona, ​​Rome, Paris ... wherever you want!
In the default search result they are not at the top of the results, but in the guide above I have included information on how to search for such offers.
Choosing a different date is very likely that you can find even more interesting offers. It's worth looking ahead of time.
Below is a search engine for hotels in Taormina, and underneath are shortcuts to the interesting price and quality hotels I found with the prices I mentioned above.


Taormina - Booking: Casa Carly e Dane - [click]

WARNING!!! The content of the offer changes dynamically over time and largely depends on the planned date of arrival. When you click on it it may look different.

Interesting offer of accommodation in September - Booking.com

Taormina - Booking: Hotel Pensione Cundari - [click]

WARNING!!! The content of the offer changes dynamically over time and largely depends on the planned date of arrival. When you click on it it may look different.

Very nice hotel offer with breakfast and free cancellation. at a great price on Booking.com

How to get to Taormina?

Taormina - access by car

Access to Taormina by car is an attraction in itself. The steepness of the slope and the way the road is laid, and at the same time the views that accompany the ride are a lot of fun. However, you have to be very careful, and due to exceptional circumstances it is not easy to focus.
It's best to go straight to the parking lot, whose coordinates are given below. The most interesting part of the town is closed to traffic and it makes no sense to go anywhere by car. The car park is located in a convenient location.
If you arrived in Sicily by plane and you intend to rent a car in Sicily, be sure to read the guide: Sicily: Palermo, Catania, Trapani - rent a car without a credit card and a deposit? How do I rent a car in Sicily?

Taormina - access by bus or train

Before you decide on this form of travel, make sure you check the available connections beforehand. For this purpose you may find it useful rail and bus connections search engine - [click] in Europe (in Polish), enabling the purchase of tickets online at a price identical to the ticket window.
You will always find a link to this search engine in a special entry dedicated to traveler tools (remember this link): Links useful for travelers: cheap flights, hotels, accommodation, car rentals and more

5km uphill to Castelmola

If you can find some time, I urge you to visit 5km Castelmoli. The road leads uphill and ends with a car park, whose GPS details you will find below. I will say more, it is worth organizing the trip to anticipate visits to Castelmola !!!
A beautiful, small town from which you can look at Taormina from above, and at the same Castelmola is worth a sin! Ride necessarily!
You can see the view from Castemola down on 360 degrees panorama - [click] ... or take your pictures on the spot. What you choose? 🙂

Useful GPS coordinates

Taormina: Parking P1 - Porta Catania - GPS coordinates:
37°51’01.9″N 15°16’50.1″E lub
37.850519, 15.280577 - click and route

Castelmola Parking - GPS coordinates:
37°51’34.3″N 15°16’39.9″E lub
37.859530, 15.277756 - click and route

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7 comments on "Taormina - Sicily: attractions, map, sightseeing, monuments. Guide, practical information"

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    uu .. now it looks seriously like an expedition "Sicily - in the footsteps of Jacek G." 😉
    good information and photos of the amphitheater (s)

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      : )
      there is strength in Sicily buddy!
      I assume that an efficient drone operator could shoot cool photos. Isn't it

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    Thank you, very useful information - short and to the point, as I like ...
    Greetings ewa

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    Hit information - very useful. I recommend a trip in February with children when they are on vacation. The weather is exceptionally good and it is beautiful

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    Thank you very much for the invaluable information, short and interesting, all the most important

  • o
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    Well written. Practical tips and links. I sincerely recommend it before going to Sicily.


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