Discovering the town and it’s attractions
Whilst the traditional tourist sites are definitely worth seeing, there is so much more to Taormina than just admiring the architecture. For this reason, we’ve created a complete list of the Top 10 things to do in Taormina, which will give you a real feel for this special place.
Stroll along Corso Umberto
Corso Umberto is the quaint main street of Taormina and is the best place to start your visit. (For those who like to tick things off their list, it’s also a way to kill a few birds with one stone!) Between the arches of Porta Messina and Porta Catania lies the heart of Taormina, with shops, bars, and much more. Walking up the street, you pass the Palazzo Corvaja which often hosts art exhibitions, Piazza IX Aprile with the incredible view of Etna and the coast towards Catania, and Piazza Duomo with the town’s cathedral. Top Tip: why not explore some of the small side streets – there are many hidden treasures to be found!
Granita at Bambar
The sign of a good bar is one full of locals with people waiting for a table, and that can definely be said of Bambar. It offers the best granita in Taormina (and arguably Sicily) with a manager who seems to know the list of flavours in every language on the planet! Try which ever combination you fancy, with or without cream, but always with a brioche! Top Tip: a great breakfast combination is almond and coffee, but if you go in the late afternoon, you simply must try their pistacchio granita- it’s one of the best things I have ever tasted!
All the guidebooks will tell you to visit the theatre, and of course, with good reason. It’s an incredible place full of history and surrounded by spectacular views. It is open most days to the public, but the best way to experience the theatre is by watching an opera or concert there! Top Tip: you can often buy tickets on the day however it’s better to book in advance if you know what you would like to see.
This small village above Taormina offers not only stunning views but also points of historical interest, including the castle ruins and the churches. If you’re up for a workout then you can walk up, though I would recommend getting the bus. Once there, Bar Turrisi is worth a visit with it’s, let’s say, unusual theme! They offer a free tasting of almond wine which goes very well with their torta di pistacchio (cake), or perhaps an aperitive if you visit in the evening. Top Tip: go up the stairs to one of the balconies for a great view!
If it’s your first time in Sicily then you should definitely make it your mission to try as many Sicilian specialities as possible. An arancino from Da Cristina, scacciata from Strit Food, cannolo and pasta di mandorla from Pasticceria D’Amore. Top Tip: basically follow your nose – if something smells good, it probably is!
The perfect spot for a little peace and quiet. Take a stroll, or sit on a bench with an ice-cream, relax and enjoy the view! Top Tip: Particularly nice to go in the late afternoon.
Day Trips and experiences
Taormina is fairly small so I would definitely recommend getting out either for a day trip or book an experience that takes your fancy! If you fancy some history, hiking and fresh air, then joining one of Etna People‘s tours would be perfect for you. Otherwise, there is a variety of options from cooking classes to boat trips, and day trips to towns all over the island. Top Tip: Plan these in advance as these tours, trips and experiences aren’t available every day and may fill up quickly in summer.
It would be a shame not to get your fill of sea and sun whilst you are here. The area around Isola Bella is beautiful, though if you are looking for sand and quieter beaches, then get the beach bus to the next town up the coast, Letojanni. Top Tip: There is a small museum on Isola Bella island which you can visit when you’re tired of relaxing!
Madonna della Rocca
Whilst many people would advise you to visit Madonna della Rocca, they may not tell you the best time to go. If you’re an early bird, a walk up the steps in time to watch the sunrise is a definite must. However if Taormina’s nightlife is a bit too much for you, a stroll up there after sunset to look down on Taormina by night would suit you. If you’re lucky you might even be able to hear one of the open-air concerts!
If you’re looking for a non-touristy place to eat in Taormina then you can give up now! However there are some places that offer really good food at reasonable prices. Ristorante Porta Messina is the best place for pizza, offers some really delicious fish dishes and is good value for money. Tutti Ccà offer slightly finer dining, but the menu is incredible, especially the fish specials. As for post-dinner drinks, head to Casa Matta where they often hold live music nights with acoustic groups, or to Flamingo for some great cocktails. Top Tip: If you order pizza at Ristorante Porta Messina, try the wholemeal dough!
And there we have it, our list of the top 10 things to do in Taormina. Enjoy!
Top 10 things to do in Taormina with Deep in Sicily Tours