Taormina and Castelmola
Taormina lies on a rock that slopes downwards into the Ionian Sea called Mount Tauro. This small town is famous all around the world due to its archaeological significance.
Its most important site is the Greek-Roman Theatre which is second only to the one in Syracuse.Taormina holds an international arts festival every summer in this famous location where crowds flock to appreciate cinema, theatre, ballet and classical music.
Adjoining this theatre is an Archaeological Museum called “Antiquarium” which contains a variety of ancient artefacts from different periods. The most famous of these exhibits is a large block of marble that was dedicated by the people of Taormina to the God Olympus after they won an equestrian race at the Olympic Games. Taormina also has a smaller Roman Theatre called Odeon. The presence of these two theatres in such a small town indicates the importance of the arts in the ancient culture of Taormina.
The town has other historical buildings depicting different styles and influences due to its numerous dominations over the centuries: the most significant building is the splendid Palazzo Corvaja which has an Arabic central façade with adjoining Norman and Gothic features; the Badiazza is a Norman Tower which was restored in the late fourteenth century; the Palace of the Duke of St Stephan is the greatest masterpiece of Sicilian gothic art.
The spectacular natural beauty of this piece of coastline is particularly evident in the Bay of Isola Bella that can be reached by a funicular from the centre of the town of Taormina. This beach resort offers visitors swimming, sunbathing and restaurants serving the local cuisine.
Other attractions worth seeing in Taormina are the public gardens, the Clock Tower, a number of churches and little narrow streets lined with beautiful shops. Leaving Taormina and climbing even higher up the narrow roads of Mount Tauro leads to Castelmola.
This little village which is perched high on the rock offers stunning views of the Calabrian and Ionic Coast which can be appreciated over a glass of almond wine, typical to this region of Sicily.