After my adventurous solo start in Palermo (find my walking itinerary here) and Ustica (read about my diving experience here), I spent one afternoon exploring Taormina. An impressive ancient theatre and hundreds of little colorful streets dominate Taormina’s beautiful old town.
The top site: Teatro Antico
When I got these breathtaking views of Mount Etna and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, I immediately understood why Goethe and others fell in love with Sicily. Teatro Antico is a magnificent ancient theater steeped in history and grandeur. This iconic landmark has been captivating audiences for over 2,000 years. While seated on the well-preserved marble seats in front of the stage, you can vividly immagine gladiatorial battles and theatrical performances. Today, Teatro Antico hosts a variety of cultural events, including concerts, opera performances, and film festivalse.
Awe-inspiring walks in Taormina: Odeon and Giammonarte
Just a short stroll away from the Teatro Antico, I found the charming Odeon. This small amphitheater dates back to the 2nd century and provides a more intimate setting for cultural performances. Its seating and graceful arches are well-preserved. Nowadays, the Odeon continues to host a variety of events.
Giammonarte showcases an exquisite collection of local contemporary and traditional Sicilian artworks. From vibrant paintings to intricate sculptures, even the exhibitions’ exterior tells a captivating story that reflects the rich heritage and cultural diversity of Sicily. Whether you’re a seasoned art connoisseur or simply looking to be inspired, a visit to Giammonarte is a must.
Little oasis: Villa Communale and Naumachie
Villa Communale is another gem for culture enthusiasts and seekers of serenity. Blooming flowers and aromatic citrus trees create a soothing atmosphere there. It’s where I shot the below picture, and I even enjoyed a musical rehearsal there.
Naumachie is another unique archaeological site from the 2nd century. It’s a hidden interior court with a central water system. There’re controversial theories about its original use. But the latest theory imagines a nymphaeum or gymnasium, where young people engaged in physical exercise.
Today, it’s one of these hidden places where you can perfectly relax after long summer walks.
Shopping, tasting and nightlife: Corso Umberto
At the end of my day in Taormina, I meandered through the picturesque Corso Umberto. The cobblestone streets are lined with elegant boutiques, traditional trattorias, gelaterias and charming cafes. Corso Umberto’s atmosphere is lively, with captivating street performances. It’s the perfect place to end your day in Taormina.
I definitely recommend a stop in Taormina. However, if you got the time, plan for at least a full day, so you can also leave the city center and explore for example Isola Bella. And of course, there’s also loads to explore in Taormina’s surroundings.