How to find Taormina
Taormina is located between two arches that allow access to the town – Porta Messina and Porta Catania. The central area of Taormina is traffic free zone pedestrians only need worry about being hit by other pedestrians looking over their shoulders for a view of Mt. Etna.
It is one of the most picturesque towns in Sicily. Located high above the Ionian Sea on the east coast of Sicily. Taormina is a must see town for anyone visiting Sicily. Writers and painters have been visiting the town for centuries and it is easy to see why.
Taormina, Italy has been occupied for almost 2,500 years showing once again that the Greeks knew a beautiful place when they saw it.
Taormina has an ancient Greek theater, a number of churches and beautiful public gardens with a spectacular view of Mt. Etna. You do not have to look very far to find a restaurant with a view in Taormina.
Rick Steves’ YouTube Guide of Taormina
Rick Steves shows the views in Taormina and how hard it is to drive in Taormina.
Shops are located all along the Corso Umberto I, the main street in Taormina, Italy.
I refrained from doing any shopping deciding that prices would be higher in this town that attracts visitors from all over the world. Besides, it was almost impossible for me to pull myself away from the beautiful views and interesting sites.Scenic Views
The Ionian Sea is located 200 meters (219 yards) below the town. There are many viewing sites located around Taormina – the theater, public gardens and antiquarium to name a few have views of the sea and Mt. Etna. Walking from the Porta Messina towards the Porta Catania there is a viewing area on your left where you can look out over the Ionian Sea. The views of Mt. Etna are best in the morning. Afternoons can be hazy.Cable Car
A funicular (cable car) runs between Via Pirandello in Taormina just outside of the Porta Messina and the beaches that serve Taormina. The funicular runs frequently and is about a 10 minute ride. The views from the funicular make the trip worthwhile, but there is not much to see at the bottom other than the beaches.
Walking along the Corso Umberto I towards the Porta Catania you will walk through the old Jewish section of Taormina.
Where to Stay
Visitors to Taormina have two options of where to stay in the town. Hotels are located along the sea and offer access to the beaches or they can stay in the town itself. These two separate areas of Taormina are about 15 minutes apart by car. A taxi ride costs about €15. Beware – the road from the beaches to the town is very windy and twisty and is driven at a high rate of speed by all drivers. If you are a beach person stay in one of the hotels near the sea, shoppers should stay in the town.
Taormina has been an attraction for thousands of years so believe the guidebooks when they say avoid Taormina in the summer when it is very crowded. I visited in the middle of May and it was perfect. It was warm and sunny, but not too hot. We did not find the town or any of the sites to be very crowded
I visited Taormina, Italy with my parents as a child and consider myself to be lucky, very lucky, to have made it back as an adult.
Taormina Information Office
Located in the Palazzo Corvaja, off of Corso Umberto I, near Santa Caterina. Open daily 8-2 and 4-7. As with all offices, shops, etc. in Sicily the hours are variable.
Stop by the Taormina, Italy Information Office to see the puppets. There is a rich tradition of puppetry in Sicily and puppets and puppet theaters are found all over the island. These are not the hand puppets you find in the US, rather they stand several feet tall and are used to tell traditional stories.
The airport in Catania, Fontanarossa Airport (CTA), serves Taormina. It is located 50km/30mi south of Taormina. There is bus service to Taormina.
Taormina Train Station
The train station is located at the bottom of Monte Tauro so you will need to take either a taxi or bus if you are staying in town. We stayed near the beaches and took a taxi that cost €15.
Taormina Bus Station
The bus station is located on Via Pirandello
Taormina Permanent Population
10,000, (in season, much, much higher)