TAORMINA AND ITS ENCHANTING HISTORIC CENTRE
No trip to Sicily is complete without a visit to the jewel in its crown: Taormina, a city that stuns its visitors with its historical and cultural attractions and the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.
What we will see
- Taormina's historic town centre
- Porta Messina
- Palazzo Corvaja
- the Greek Theatre
What we will do
- We leave the port by coach and take the motorway to the magical town of Taormina.
- The town enjoys a beautiful natural setting on a plateau of Mount Tauro. What makes this ancient settlement so appealing to visitors however, is the wealth of fascinating Greek, Roman and Medieval ruins.
- Strolling in the historic town centre with our expert guide, we go through the old Porta Messina (Messina Gate), and make our way into the oldest part of the town.
- A short distance away we find one of the town's most important building, Palazzo Corvaja, which we can admire from outside. The original nucleus of this rather severe-looking edifice is a tower built in the 11th century by the Arabs who ruled the island at that time. The building was extended over the years, first at the end of the 13th century, then again in the 15th century, when it was used to host the Sicilian Parliament. Neglected for a period after the Second World War, the building was restored thanks to the efforts of the town's first post-war mayor.
- We proceed towards the heart of the old town centre, to see the stunning Greek Theatre. More than just a symbol of Taormina, this Hellenic construction is one of the most famous Sicilian monuments in the world. The original building probably dates back to the 3rd century BC, but it was renovated and extended during the reign of Augustus to the point that, with a capacity to seat 10,000 spectators it was the second largest theatre in Sicily after the one in Syracuse. A vast, publicly owned park of Mediterranean maquis in slopes to the north and east of the theatre provides a fitting backdrop to these spectacular historic remains.
- At this point, we have some free time to stroll at leisure along the charming, narrow streets of the old town or even do a little shopping.
What you need to know
- This excursion is conducted mainly on foot, it is therefore recommended to wear comfortable shoes.
- The journey to Taormina takes about 1 hour.