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Overview

Taormina, one of Sicily’s most beautiful resort towns, perches on the side of Monte Tauro offering stunning views of the bays below. D.H. Lawrence was so enthralled with this romantic city that he lived here for three years (1920-1923); Taormina’s beautiful surroundings inspired him to write Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Although settled by Greeks in 395 B.C., Taormina came under the control of the Roman Empire in 278 B.C. and retains much of the architecture from that period. A prime example of this is the Teatro Greco (Greek Theater), the remains of which are entirely Roman. Each summer an art festival with hundreds of international ...

Taormina, one of Sicily’s most beautiful resort towns, perches on the side of Monte Tauro offering stunning views of the bays below. D.H. Lawrence was so enthralled with this romantic city that he lived here for three years (1920-1923); Taormina’s beautiful surroundings inspired him to write Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Although settled by Greeks in 395 B.C., Taormina came under the control of the Roman Empire in 278 B.C. and retains much of the architecture from that period. A prime example of this is the Teatro Greco (Greek Theater), the remains of which are entirely Roman. Each summer an art festival with hundreds of international artists is held in the amphitheater. For more Roman architecture visit the Odeon, a smaller theater next to the church of St. Catherine. The Piazza IX Aprile with the 17th century St. Giuseppe church is a must see, as is the 13th century Cathedral in the Piazza del Duomo; go inside to view the magnificent paintings. Make the 12th century Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower) your last stop so you will have time to savor the views of Mount Etna from the terrace. At night this is the ideal spot to watch Etna spout its fire. One of the best things to do in Taormina is to walk its twisting medieval streets draped with bougainvillea-covered walls and lined with unique craft shops, cafes and restaurants. If you must go to the beach, head a few miles south to Giardini-Naxos where they are less crowded. Traveling around Mount Etna is lovely but time consuming. If you don’t have time to reach the summit near Catania (five hours away) the Circumetnea railway will take you around the base of the volcano, still a marvelous ride. You pick the railway up in Giarre, a half hour train of bus ride from Taormina.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Frances Folsom for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    In the autumn, early or late spring; summer if you like heat and crowds, particularly at the beaches.