Taormina, Sicily

Taormina is a hilltop imperfect town on the east coast of Sicily is truly the Pearl of Sicily overlooking the imposing Mount Etna, the worlds most active volcano. The ancient Greeks loved to construct their buildings in beautiful scenic locations and the stunning amphitheater overlooking the Ionian Sea, dating back to the third century BC, is a perfect example. Once described by Ernest Hemingway as being so pretty “it hurts to look”, the legendary resort town with its twisting medieval streets is full of many old churches, lively bars, fine restaurants and a cinema worthy backdrop.

The Small List

  1. Mount Etna - The highest volcano in Europe and one of most active of the world on the east coast of Sicily, in the Metropolitan City of Catania  It’s impressive size looms over the entire region. Its spectacular eruptions and its fiery lava flows has always aroused the interest of scientists along with the curiosity of visitors from all over the world.
  2. La Plage Beach Resort - La Plage Resort is located directly on the beach inside the Isola Bella Nature Reserve in Taormina, surrounded by maritime pines and fragrant gardens. Their “Fusion” restaurant is ideal for lunch, where Mediterranean flavors and traditions blend with the natural and intimate style of Sicilian cuisine. 
  3. Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo - Teetering on the Sicilian clifftops with a panoramic view of the clustered terracotta rooftops of the medieval town below, and beyond to the ominous Mount Etna, be dazzled at one of the most celebrated Sicily hotels and find your own personal haven.
  4. Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea - This sea-facing location satisfies every sense. Located on the scenic Bay of Mazzarò, and setting the standard for romance among Sicily hotels, their rooms will take your breath away.
  5. Restaurant Oliviero - Located at Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, lunch on freshly grilled fish, colorful salads, and delicate homemade pasta on its own exclusive shoreline and gaze at the sea below.
  6. Greek Amphitheater - The Greek Theater of Taormina is the most fascinating historical monument of the “pearl of the Ionian Sea”. Perched on a hilltop in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable and built in the third century BC, the theater is remarkably well preserved and is still used today for opera and musical performances.
  7. Wunderbar - Cafe Wunderbar is Taormina's historic gathering spot. The cafe sits on the Piazza IX Aprile and has served literary and glamorous types for a century.
  8. Hotel Metropole - This polished hotel is set on a cliff overlooking the sea in the vicinity of the Clock Tower and in the central Corso Umberto with a chic bar and bistro offering live jazz.
  9. Osteria Rosso Divino - A wine and food restaurant in the heart of the city center where the menu changes daily with the freshest meats, fish, cheeses, and ingredients from the market  reworked to create genuine tastes, delicate scents and rich colors.
  10. Madonna della Rocco Sanctuary - Literally meaning “Mary of the rock”, is a tiny sanctuary that was built inside a grotto on Monte Tauro and was founded by the abbot Francesco Raineri around 1640. It is well worth the hike for the heavenly views from the church's terrace.
  11. Ristorante Aranciara - A welcoming restaurant located in a citrus garden with a charming entrance and a rustic feeling. A popular stomping ground for incognito celebrities, especially during the annual film festival
  12. Vicolo Stretto - Enjoy Sicilian specialties from the rooftop terrace of this famous restaurant and wine bar. A trendy spot with a stunning view over terra-cotta roof tiles and the town clock tower.
  13. Corso Umberto I - The pedestrian friendly, vibrant lifeline of the Pearl of Sicily lined with small boutiques and historic buildings. A perfect thoroughfare to enjoy a stroll in one of the prettiest cities in Sicily.
  14. Isola Bella - Picturesque and charming, the Isola Bella is without a doubt Taormina’s most beautiful beach. It is an extension of the mainland connected only by a thin strip of shingle beach that you can see when the tide is low and has been declared a Nature Reserve thanks to its beauty and untouched nature.
  15. Hotel Villa Angela - A boutique hotel with stunning views of the Ionian Sea all the way to the top of Mount Etna. A spectacular setting filled with an authentic Sicilian atmosphere and an ideal location to discover the city and to enjoy the infinite beautiful of the area.