Likes & Dislikes

Opinions


"Unique panoramas, romantic radiance, lots and lots of stairs and uphill climbs, cool, brutally expensive boutiques, cozy cafes, and a relaxed atmosphere. Large cruise ships pour tourists into Taormina, so I recommend that non-boat tourists should avoid the famous sights and the downtown area (such as Corso Umberto) between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. During the middle of the day, it’s best to go swimming and sunbathing by the hotel pool.

Tourist information staff seem as bored as physically possible if the kiosks are open at all. The beaches in the Taormina area are also not the best. Taormina isn’t particularly interesting for young people and children, though the surrounding area within a radius of approximately one hundred kilometers it is full of exciting landscapes and settlements. We ate in the smaller villages more often than in the larger towns. That saved us money. In Taormina, restaurant prices are brutal, except for some little places in side streets. In the countryside, apart from the famous tourist destinations, there are surprisingly few tourists.

We’ve heard that in Taormina in the summer, until the middle of September, there are big crowds. From Mazzaro, take the Teleferique cable car (3 euros one-way) to the top of the hill and walk back down. The Sicilians are crazy drivers, and disregard all traffic rules, even the basics. I had to be on my guard at the wheel of our rental car. On the beach, they asked for 16 euros for a sunbed (plus an umbrella), and beer was 5 euros. "
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"Somehow I imagined the theater differently. I thought I'd see the sea beyond the surviving ruins, but the huge black wall which is an almost permanent feature ruins the famous view depicted by the painter Csontváry. But even so, this arena, which can seat 15,000 spectators, with its intact columns, walls, and tunnels, is a miracle.” (Louis)

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“The panorama of the city, the small streets with their narrow flights of steps, and the romantic atmosphere, completely fascinate the tourists visiting here. It is also an ideal place for those who want to go to the beach, because here you can find the most beautiful beaches, and the waters of the Ionian Sea are very warm. "

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“Even for an amateur photographer, the theater is an ideal theme, with Etna in the background. The latter was not visible when I went, but the theater itself was unforgettable, not least because of the outrageous price of the ticket!

Taormina has amazingly charming streets, and I must in particular mention the lovely little fruit and veg stalls, which are like an old-time fair, as well as the souvenir vendors and, of course, the unmissable cafes and confectionery stores.

Another great attraction is the island of Isola Bella in the bay of Taormina, which sometimes becomes a peninsula at low tide. The Italians have taken care of this too, making it a nature reserve to make sure people don’t try to wade across.” (2017)
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“With its colorful houses, alleyways, sea, and tourist focus, it reminded me a lot of Piran in Slovenia. Probably Taormina is unbearably crowded in the summer, but in January we caught it at its best. We took a big walk, admired the views, drank iced coffee, then missed the bus back, so we even ended up staying for dinner. It was worth it for the sunset in Taormina.” (2017)


“Taormina is a really cute little town, To me, it felt a bit like Segovia, albeit more focused on tourists, but with a real southern atmosphere. If I had to pick one city from Sicily, it would be Taormina. Without a doubt. Taormina is, surprisingly, not a World Heritage Site, which I would have definitely expected it to be. It has only one truly world-class attraction, but it’s a really huge, fascinating thing: the Greek theater.” (2017)
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"There are relatively few ‘must-see’ attractions in the city. One is the Greek theater - which was painted by the famous Tivadar Csontváry – and another is the coastal island of Isola Bella, but it’s also worth going just for the atmosphere. Taormina is interwoven, like a cobweb, with flights of steps that lead all the way from the shore to the summit, through a maze of small streets. If you love variety, you can surely always find a different way to get from A to B.
Tickets to the Ancient Theater of Taormina, or the Greek theater as it's often called, are 10 euros for an adult and 5 euros for a child under 25. The theater, which is more than a thousand years old, is still roughly half intact, though some parts have been renovated. The lower seating area is still used today, although metal structures are brought here, which spoils the view somewhat.
From the top row of the more than a thousand-year-old theater, the view of the sea and Mount Etna is also amazing.
However, the best thing about the whole place is the view. If you sit in the top row, then
‘It’s a wonderful sight that you’ve never seen in a theater yet, and probably nowhere else either’, and if you imagine the people who sat here millennia ago, the place is really uplifting. To sum it all up, it's worth paying the €10 ticket.” (2019)

Practicals

Transport


“Taormina is an Italian hilltown with narrow streets – what a surprise! – I decided to park the car at the first available spot I found, and I was lucky enough to drive straight up to a parking garage. Even luckier, I didn’t have to pay for parking because someone who was leaving handed over their ticket. We thanked him, but I looked at him suspiciously:
That’s not the sort of thing people do for strangers back home. Later, in Syracuse, I had to realize: this is the way things are here, and yes, people (at least in this way) are kind to each other, so maybe that’s the kind of behavior I could bring home with me. I still think back to my original suspicions there with embarrassment.” (2017)
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“There are 2 bus services in the city. One is the so-called orange line, which connects the coast with the 500-meter-high Castelmola. The other is the blue line, which starts from Taormina city center and also ends at Castelmola. Tickets for the orange bus – which also goes through the center, cost €1.10, while the blue bus costs €1.90. This despite the fact that it’s a shorter route – we never figured out why it’s more expensive, but perhaps due to the difference in size. While I could compare the beach bus to a clapped out city bus back home – a real local workhorse – the blue bus is more of a coach, and holds 50 people.

The main problems with public transport aren’t really about the fact that there are only two routes, but about how often they run. They travel up and down every 1-1.5 hours on average, so if you don't calculate well in advance – and consider the Italian mindset which means it can come up to 10 minutes early, too – you can easily get stuck in a certain place.
That is why it’s worth talking about alternatives. Which, if you don’t have a car, is most likely to be walking. But there is also a 3-euro-each-way elevator between the coastal town of Mazzaro and Taormina.

Before traveling, it may be worth gathering information about the train that stops at the previously mentioned station of Taormina-Giardinin. This village is located right by the sea, is a 1-hour walk from the center of Taormina. So if you arrive by train, either do it during the day while there is still a bus - although you may have to wait 1 hour for this – or take a taxi, because you can only reach the center on foot and up a very steep road.” (d.i., 2019)
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“It takes an hour and a half by bus to get from Catania Airport to Taormina, and the ticket costs €7.50 euros. The bus leaves in front of the airport building, and tickets can be purchased from any little kiosk, where you can find out about the timetable. It’s also possible to take a train and transfer, but the train station (shared with Giardini-Naxos) is located below Taormina, on the beach, from where you still have to take a local bus to the city, making the direct long-distance bus option much easier.” (2020)

Shopping

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Taormina - street vendors - b.g. h. photo

Background

Taormina - b.g. h. photo

Destination in brief

Population (in 2021): 11,000

Nowadays

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Taormina - tourists - b.g. h. photo

Taormina - b.g. h. photo

Taormina - walking street - b.g. h. photo

Attractions

The Greek Theatre

Taormina - The Greek Theatre - b.g. h. photo

Taormina - The Greek Theatre - b.g. h. photo

Taormina - The Greek Theatre - b.g. h. photo

Giardini Naxos

Sicily - The Panoramic view of Giardini Naxos from Taormina - f.d. photo

Giardini Naxos - beach - e.s. photo

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