Didem Doğan

Taormina, Sicily

The ‘Grand Voyage’: big trip- I wish I could visit Taormina in the 18th century during my Grand Voyage in Southern Europe and come here on horseback from Catania the same as Goethe did. It must have been quite different from the today’s town visited by hundreds of tourist everyday. It is still beautiful however the smallness of the place and the tourist groups from cruise ships that come and go make it a bit ‘too’ crowded during day time. 

The main attraction, The ancient Greek theatre (Teatro Antico di Taormina), was originally made by the greeks in the 3rd century B.C; the Romans then built a theatre on the same site; today it is actively used with opera and classical music concerts in summer. Next to the theatre is the traditional Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, even if you are not staying you may go inside and have a coffee on its terrace to enjoy the panoramic view. 

There are a couple of little squares in Taormina, the one I liked the most is actually not a square but a smaller version, the Largo Santa Catarina. As you walk the main road you then reach to another one, the Piazza XI Aprile where you will find a nice terrace to watch the view and an elegant church with a pink façade, Chiesa di San Giuseppe. You then walk further and arrive to Duomo Square with the main cathedral Duomo di Taormina

One other place you need to go is the beautiful island of Isola Bella down on the coast. There’s a cable car but I recommend you to walk on foot and then climb on cable car. There’s a beautiful pedestrian road made from stairs right after the bus terminal, it takes about fifteen minutes to reach the island and the views are fantastic. Isola Bella has two pebble stone beaches and the water is crystalline. Another recommendation is to come to Taormina by train so that you can see its beautiful station with palm trees, elegant black and white ceramic ground, for forge lamps.

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