Taormina, with its pastel-colored buildings, antique churches and palazzos, and panoramic views, is straight out of an old Italian movie. The magnificent clifftop village overlooking the glistening Ionian Sea and Mount Etna is one of Sicily’s most stunning and luxury destinations. Spend a few days exploring the narrow streets and tiny staircases, eating fresh seafood on the beach, and swimming in crystal clear water – all while immersing yourself in the real ‘dolce vita’ ambiance.
Activities in Taormina
Taormina, Italy, is more than simply a beautiful Sicilian town; there are also plenty of activities to do in Taormina! Because the center is primarily car-free, strolling around discovering quaint cafes and Sicilian ceramic stores is a really pleasant experience. Furthermore, its clifftop location ensures breathtaking vistas at every corner.
- Villa Comunale di Taormina, Sicily
Villa Comunale is a magnificent public garden with of trees, flowers, and cacti. It is open to the public and has some of the best views of the coast and Mount Etna. Interestingly, Lady Florence Trevelyan, a British lady reputed to have fled the UK in the late 1800s after a controversial romance with the future King, nurtured the villa and gardens.
She erected the strange structures sprinkled around the yard as birding stations, and they provide for great photo opportunities.
We recommend getting a panini in town (StritFUD is the finest!) and spending a few hours here to escape the heat. Explore the grounds, relax in the shade, and have a picnic lunch with a view.
Opening Hours & Admission Fee: Open daily from 9 a.m. till sunset. Admission is free.
2. Palazzo Corvaja
The conquering Arabs constructed the Corvaja Palace to defend the town in the 10th century. It’s also named after one of Sicily’s oldest aristocratic families, who lived in Taormina from 1538 to 1945.
The stunning structure is designed in a variety of styles, including Arabic, Norman, and Gothic. It now houses the tourist office as well as the Sicilian Museum of Art and Popular Traditions, and it is well worth a visit!
Grab a gelato from the nearby Don Diego Gelateria and stroll around the building to see its old stone steps, calm gardens, and fresco-filled corridors.
3. Teatro Antico di Taormina
This stunning Greek-Roman amphitheater, constructed in 3 BC, is still used for concerts, plays, and film festivals today. Come early in the morning, before the daytrippers arrive, to explore the ancient ruins of this spectacular stage. Mount Etna and the gorgeous Ionian Sea will take your breath away!
Although the theater is one of the most popular things to do in Taormina, it is not a vast space, so you won’t require more than an hour. However, it is well worth a visit to enjoy the ancient ambience and breathtaking vistas.
It is a five-minute walk from Villa Comunale and easily accessible from the main boulevard Corso Umberto. You may take a guided tour or just wander around on your own, and there is a cafe with a terrace where you can unwind with a coffee afterward.
4. Enjoy the Cultural Ritual of an Aperitivo
Aperitivo with friends in the evening sun is a feature of Italian culture. While in Taormina, stop into La Locanda Dei Mori, a charming cafe off the main drag that serves large colorful platters of salads, bruschetta, and pasta. With a delicious cocktail, you may enjoy the calmer side of Sicilian life. This Italian happy hour is often held around sunset and is a peaceful way to end the day and begin the night! Just make a reservation ahead of time.
5. Piazza IX Aprile
The Piazza IX Aprile is Taormina’s major square and is referred to as the ‘living room’ by locals. The square is always bustling with activity, with children playing, musicians performing, and families gathering for dinner. The piazza also provides a spectacular view of Mount Etna and the sea, which is especially beautiful at sunset.
Explore the plaza, which is home to two lovely churches, an antique clock tower, and outdoor terraces. As one of the best things to do in Taormina, get an evening aperitivo to complement the stunning view!
6. Chiesa Madonna della Rocca
One of the nicest things to do in Taormina is to visit this little chapel set high on the mountain above town! The historic church, which was constructed directly into the hillside, is a 30-minute climb up steep stairs from the city center. In fact, parts of its roof and walls are carved directly from the rock! Come here at sunset for breathtaking views of the shore and beyond.
The neighborhood can grow crowded, especially in the summer. It is, however, pedestrianized, and you can avoid the crowds by venturing down the little alleyways that lead to peaceful, attractive squares.
7. Duomo di Taormina, Sicily
The Duomo di Taormina is the town’s principal cathedral and one of the top things to do in Taormina. The majestic structure can be seen in the lovely Piazza del Duomo off the main street. It was built in the 12th century and is known as the “fortress cathedral” because it seems more like a military structure than a church. This makes logical, given that it was originally employed as part of the town’s defense.
8. Take a Ferry to the Islands
The Aeolian Islands, located off Sicily’s north coast, are a lovely destination to spend a day or more exploring. The seven volcanic islands are a UNESCO World Heritage site with picturesque communities, unusual black sand beaches, volcanoes, and wineries. Rent a scooter to explore the area, walk up Mount Stromboli (which erupts on a daily basis! ), or sunbathe and swim in the crystal-clear blue ocean.
Ferries leave Milazzo on a daily basis, which is about a 1-hour 15-minute journey from Taormina, Italy. Join an organized excursion that includes return transportation.