The 10 Best Things To Do In Historic Taormina, Italy

things to do in taormina italy
| 4 min read

Taormina, is a picturesque city and one of the most beautiful and touristically attractive cities, in Italy. This city lies on the shores of Sicily and was a favorite spot for famous artists and travelers. Thanks to its location on a rocky promontory and its breathtaking view of Mount Etna, this town is more than popular among tourists. Taormina has a beautiful historic center, with narrow streets and significant palaces. Besides the monuments, the city will offer you sunny beaches and a summer movie festival. Set off to Taormina with this list of the ten best things to do.

1. Etna Volcano

Path over the volcano crater,Mount Etna. East coast of Sicily, Italy (close to Messina and Catania)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mstyslav Chernov used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Mount Etna, is the highest active and the second largest volcano in Europe and is the greatest natural attraction of Taormina. The current height of Etna is an unbelievable 3,329 meters (10,922 feet) above sea level. Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is constantly changing. It attracts thousands of tourists a year for its spectacular views and you can take advantage of the various tours that offer a range of excursions from sunrises to sunsets, above the volcano. And despite the activity, you will still be able to get to a rather high position. Etna is a natural phenomenon that worth seeing, at least once in a lifetime. The closest city is Catania which is around one hour from Taormina.

Etna Volcano

Address: Etna, 95031 Adrano, Provincie Catania, Italy

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2. Palazzo Corvaia

Tower - Palazzo Corvaja - Taormina - Italy 2015
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user José Luiz used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pallazze Corvaio is a medieval palace, built in the 14th century. The palace bears the name of a wealthy and important family that lived in Taormina. The Family Corvaio held the palace from the 16th to the 20th century. The courtyard of the Moorish-Gothic palace is lined with four main staircases. The beautiful main façade is decorated with motifs illustrating the Creation. Today, the palace is used as an exhibition center.

Palazzo Corvaia

Address: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy

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3. Ancient theater of Taormina

Ancient theatre of Taormina
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user CHMunro used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This ancient theater is a significant monument of Taormina. Originally a theater, it was built for musicals and dramatic performances. Later, in Roman times, it was used for games and gladiatorial battles. The theater is constructed in various parts: the cavea, the orchestra, the portici, the access stairs, and the scene. The scene is the most important part of the theater. Unfortunately, only part of the original structure, has remained. The ancient theater is a remarkable piece of architecture, intertwined with a long history. With its wonderful surroundings and incredible views, it is one of the most beautiful sights in Sicily.

Ancient theatre of Taormina

Address: Via del Teatro Greco, 1, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy

Website: Ancient theatre of Taormina

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4. Duomo di Taormina - Cathedral of Taormina

Taormina Duomo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Eutrope used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Cathedral of Taormina is located close to the port of Taormina. It dates back to the medieval era of the 13th century and is dedicated to St. Nicholas, of Bari. The cathedral was later rebuilt several times. The important symbol of the facade is the rose window, made of stone. One of the oldest and most prestigious pieces of art, inside the cathedral, is the Byzantine Madonna. It’s an oil painted picture of the Madonna, layered with silver and interlaced with precious stones. In 1980, the cathedral was dedicated as a Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II. Between the years 1945 to 1948, the entire cathedral was reconstructed by the architect, Armando Dillon.

Cathedral of Taormina

Address: Piazza Duomo, 1, Taormina, Sicily

Website: Cathedral of Taormina

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5. Porta Catania

Porta Catania (inside) - Taormina - Italy 2015 (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user José Luiz used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Porta Catania was constructed in 1440. The gate borders the south side of the main street of Taormina, the Corso Umberto. Together, with the adjacent square, the gate used to be the main meeting place for the public, during the Norman age. A public meeting was always held at 1 pm and because of this, people called this square the Porta del Tocco, or the Gate of Touch. Behind the wall, you will find the central point of Taormina, with its picturesque streets, restaurants and cafés.

Porta Catania

Address: Corso Umberto, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy

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6. Palazzo Ciampoli

Taormina, Palazzo Ciampoli
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Palickap used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pallazzo Ciampoli is a major house built in the Catalonian style. The construction dates back to 1412, as is carved above the main door. The Palazzo Ciampoli belonged to the family of the same name until it was bought by the Sicilian region. It stands majestically, right in the historic center of the city and thus is one of the city’s most famous buildings. A few years ago, the building was used as a famous nightclub of Taormina. Nowadays they are restoring it to bring Ciampoli back to its original form.

Palazzo Ciampoli

Address: Salita Ciampoli, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy

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7. Corso Umberto

Corso Umberto Taormina - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user trolvag used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Corso Umberto is the central street in the city of Taormina and it runs from the Porta Messina to the Porta Catania. The picturesque street is filled with many restaurants, cafés, and souvenir shops, intertwined with history and beautifully restored historic houses. The Corso Umberto is a favorite place to hang out, especially in the summer months, when it attracts the tourist crowds. It’s a great option for dining and a beautiful walk through the city. This lovely place should not be missed, when visiting Taormina.

Corso Umberto

Address: Corso Umberto, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy

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8. Piazza IX Aprile - The IX April Square

Sicilia Taormina4 tango7174
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tango7174 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A delightful square in the center of Taormina, the Piazza IX Aprile is situated on the Corso Umberto. The characteristic feature of the plaza is its black-and-white paving. The square is built in the form of a huge terrace from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Ionian sea and Mount Etna. The main monuments that stand on the square are St. Augustine’s Church and the Church of St. Joseph. Lined with cafés, the Piazza IX Aprile is a great place to stop by for a cup of coffee and to enjoy the unique ambiance of Taormina.

Piazza IX Aprile

Address: Piazza IX Aprile, Taormina, Sicily, Italy

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9. Chiesa di San Pancrazio

San Pancrazio - Taormina - Italy 2015
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user José Luiz used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Chiesa di San Pancrazio is a beautiful church, built in the 18th century. It is built in the gothic style, and is located outside the city walls. It was dedicated to San Pancrazio, former Bishop, and Patron of Taormina and it stands on the ruins of an old Greek building, which was built for the ancient god, Jupiter. The church is open for occasional reasons, and it’s a popular place for romantic weddings.

Chiesa di San Pancrazio

Address: Viale S. Pancrazio, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy

Website: Chiesa di San Pancrazio

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10. San Giuseppe - The Church of St. Joseph

Taormina Chiesa San Guiseppe 05
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ad Meskens used under CC BY-SA 4.0

St. Joseph church, built in the early 17th century, majestically stands on the central IX April Square. The Church shows typical baroque architecture and the main facade features a lot of religious and historic art. Inside the church, you can find statues, which are a bit unusual and also a beautifully adorned, pink marble fountain. This is one of the most important landmarks in Taormina and worth your attention, especially if you are in the square.

Church of St. Joseph

Address: Piazza IX Aprile, Taormina, Sicily

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Set off to the wonderful city of Taormina

Taormina Castello and Madonna della Rocca
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Arnoldius used under CC BY-SA 2.5

Taormina, with its beautiful center, narrow streets, and long history, will surely attract and satisfy every traveler. In the city, you can discover remnants of Roman culture and the natural beauty of the Etna volcano. I hope that this list, above, will help you to get to know Taormina. Now set off and enjoy your trip.

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