Seek Solitude In The Magical Gardens
The Taormina Public Gardens, with exotic plants, shade, benches and curious constructions, offers up an oasis of calm if the crowds and the mid-afternoon heat of a Sicilian summer become a little too much.
This is also a garden with a story to tell – and it all goes back to Lady Florence Trevelyan again! In addition to Isola Bella, she established the gardens as a place to relax, garden, and birdwatch with fantastic views of the sea. After her death in 1907, the park was eventually put under the ownership of the city, who have done a great job of maintaining its purpose and essence.
Entrance is free, and the gardens are open from 9 am to midnight in summer, and 9 am to 8 pm in winter.
Experience The Best Of Taormina With Belmonds Luxury Hotels
Taormina is one of Italy’s most iconic hilltop towns and beach resorts.
Taormina, the picturesque hilltop town on Sicilys eastern coast, has drawn visitors to Sicily for millennia thanks to its unique position suspended between land and sea. First inhabited by the ancient Greeks, who left behind an impressive 3rd century BC theater overlooking the coast, it rose to prominence when artists such as Goethe and Wagner came to visit in the 19th century. More recently, the Taormina Film Festival, has brought celebrities and VIPs to the town and tourism is always on the rise.
With inimitable views of Mount Etna Europes highest active volcano and a shoreline reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast, Taormina combines all of the earths elements: fire and water, earth and sky. Sicily is a land of contrasts and Taorminas rugged landscape, coupled with its star appeal, makes it one of the Mediterraneans most coveted and iconic beach resorts.
Villa Sant’Andrea is set within the Bay of Mazzarò and boasts its own private beach.
Belmond, the luxury hotel and train brand, saw an opportunity in this mix and owns two properties in Taormina: the lush Grand Hotel Timeo, located beside the ancient Greek theater in town, and the idyllic Villa SantAndrea, down by the sea. Depending on the season and your travel style, Belmonds properties offer a range of exclusive experiences that transmit the essence of the Sicilian lifestyle.
Ricardo LabougelLivia HengelTyson Sadlo
Taormina: A Perfect Day On Our Sicily Tour
We spend three nights in Taormina on our Sicily tour, and our favorite moment is surprising our guests with the super fly views as we roll in from Ortigia the day before.
Our best day starts at our gorgeous seaside hotel, smack dab in the historic center, where we start with a light brekkie , with balmy warm breezes setting the tone.
We jump into a car with our private driver, and we whisk you off to the surrounding villages of Taormina, which are the true gems in the area. Where we stay is filled with tons of small coastal and hidden mountain top villages, and we line up a selection of stops to show you the real, honest-to-goodness Sicilian lifestyle that brings people to Italy in the first place: the pace, the food, and the people. .
We spend the day eating and chatting our way through these uniquely Sicilian villages with our local guides, and youre bound to be wowed by one of three things: getting a smokin view of Mount Etna, sipping an espresso at Bar Vitelli and seeing how real, rural Sicilians live.
When we return, we freshen up and head to Ristorante Granduca. By this point, were on day nine of our tour and our group gets on like a nonna in her kitchen on a Sunday like family.
Bellies full, were ready to doze off and wake up to the pastel sunrise over the Ionian Sea the best view from our hotel.
Sounds pretty dreamy, right?
Well, if you wanna come to Taormina with us well show you all this and tons more.
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Best Airbnb In Syracuse: Seaside Loft
This apartment is located in the best neighborhood to stay in Sicily, right in the heart of Syracuse with stunning views of Ortigia Island. Youll have the entire apartment to yourself, which is large enough for up to 4 people and contains bright, clean decorations and amenities. Theres also a Jacuzzi in the apartment and everything else youll need to be comfortable during your stay.
Casa Cuseni Maison De Charme
A really special B& B in an elegant historic villa filled with works of art, Casa Cuseni has views over Taormina and the sea. Staying here, you’ll be following in the footsteps of artists and writers and maybe feeling some of the atmosphere of the Taormina of days gone by. Located a little above the historic centre at the Porta Catania end of town.
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Trapani Charming Old Town And Gateway To Aegadian Islands
Trapani is named for the curved shape of its harbour which resembles a sickle. It was said to be Demeters sickle, dropped from her hands when Hades took her daughter, Persephone, to the underworld.
Continuously occupied for the last 2,500 years, Trapani passed from Greek hands to Roman, and then Vandal, Ostragoth, Byzantine and Arab hands, before becoming a base for the Crusades, a happenstance that gave the city-state immense importance.
Today, the city is supported by fishing, canning and salt harvesting, as well as forming a major ferry harbour for vessels plying the route to the various smaller islands nearby, such as the Egadi Islands.
Trapani, being a tourist town, is very safe for tourists, with only the usual encouragement to be safe, sensible and not tempt opportunistic thieves. The crime rate is low for tourists, and even when the local underworld is suffering upheaval, this is rarely an issue for visitors and those at the hotels and on the beaches.
Trapanis multicultural past has left a wonderful legacy of ancient buildings to explore. From the medieval village of Erice, built by the Normans on the ruins of a temple.
There is also a salt museum, the Scurati Caves which feature prehistoric rock paintings and the local cathedral, a magnificent edifice dating back to the 1500s.
There is also a museum of illusions which is an excellent way to pass the time.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SICILY IN TRAPANI
Taste Taorminas Gorgeous Food
Sicilian food is among the tastiest and best of Italy and Taormina is full of great restaurants where you can taste the local specialties.
We were recommended a place called Tiramisu and indeed it was a great address: both us and the kids hoovered up our food and it stayed as one of the best food related treats of our stay!
In terms of what to try, I highly recommend some Sicilian classics such as pasta alla Norma , pasta al nero di seppia and anything offered as catch of the day.
Fish and seafood in this part of the world are just stunning.
In terms of snacks and treats, Taormina will leave you spoilt for choice.
We indulged extensively in arancini and I had more than my fair share of cannoli.
I fell in love with those of Pasticceria dAmore and I may or may have not had one a day as we were in Taormina
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Best Hostel In Agrigento: Arco Ubriaco
This B& B is ideal when youre deciding where to stay in Sicily on a budget. Its close to the center of the city and the shopping area and only 3 km from Temples Valley and all its attractions. A free breakfast is included and the house itself is from the 12th century but newly renovated to modern standards.
Things To See And Do In Palermo:
Visit the Royal Palace of Palermo, built by the Kings of Sicily.
Visit the Vucciria market for fresh food, crafts, and clothes.
Learn more about Norman architecture at the Cathedral of Monreale.
Make sure you spend some time in the Arab-Normal Palermo Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage listed property.
Spend an afternoon on Via Principe di Belmonte for stylish shops and cafeterias.
Spend some time in the Quattro Canti, a 400-year-old baroque square.
Check out whats on at the Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele, one of the largest opera houses in Europe and built in 1897.
If you have a strong constitution, then spend some time in The Capuchin Catacombs.
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The Aeolian Islands: Have A Sunset Drink At The Hotel Santa Isabel Terrace Bar
This is THE bar to go to for a sunset drink on Salina The view is absolutely stunning. It is a lovely outdoor bar with cocktails and a nice wine list. And best of all they put on some very tasty snacks.
The bar at Hotel Santa Isabel is usually quite busy but you should still score a seat definitely the place to go and watch the sun come down in the Aeolian Islands.
And dont miss my complete post on 8 Charming Sicily Boutique Hotels.
And if you are visiting Sicily why not make sure you see more of amazing Italy? One of my favourite places in Italy is Milan. Check out how to make the most of 24 hours in Milan.
Where To Stay In Sicily To Get The Most From Your Trip
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Italy is home to many regions that are full of places to explore. And yet the island of Sicily seems to take things to a whole new level. That I spent a month visiting Sicily and never ran out of destinations to visit should speak volumes. But with so much to see across this large island, the question of where to stay in Sicily is one that worries everyone who visits.
Ultimately, there are two ways of approaching a trip to Sicily. One is to move about the island, visiting and staying in different areas in Sicily as you go. The alternative is to base yourself in one or two places and branch out from there. This second option isnt unrealistic as it is possible to drive from one side of the island to the other in less than half a day.
Which approach is right totally depends on you and your trip. But either way, youre going to want know the best places to stay in Sicily. You may stay in only one of them or you may stay in all of them, its all up to you. So rather than advocating you experience Sicily one specific way, Im going to lay out some options for you. Remember, these are simply suggestions based on my month in Sicily and are by no means complete. But hopefully, itll help you decide whats right for your time there.
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Ev Car Charging Station In Taormina
If you choose to bring an electric vehicle on vacation, you will certainly need to charge up.Instead of wasting time during the day looking for places to plug in, reserve a hotel that has an electric car charging station.Hotels are keeping up with the times and making improvements to ensure they can accommodate all their guests’ needs like installing EV stations.A few luxury hotels in Taormina with electric charging stations are Hotel Sirius and Four Points by Sheraton Catania Hotel & Conference Center.
Visit The Greek Theatre Of Taormina
The star of the show, the jewel in the crown and the true showstopper in Taormina is the ancient theatre.
The theatre is usually referred to as the ancient theatre or the Greek theatre and it is a stunning archaeological site that is bound to leave spellbound even the most jaded cultural tourist. It is simply stunning.
The theater is inside Taormina proper and yon reach it with a short stroll from Taorminas main street.
Tickets are sold at the entrance, maps and info panels in Italian and English are available and kids go free.
This was the highlight of our trip and by far our favourite among the many things to do in Taormina.
The theatre was originally built by the Greeks: Taormina is Greek in origin and its theatre is the second largest theatre in Sicily, after the one in Siracusa.
The theatre is organised in three main areas: the cavea, where the public used to seat, the stage and the scene.
While the cavea is Greek, the stage backdrop is Roman in origin and so are many of the other remains now visible.
This overlapping of cultures and archaeological strata is typical of many sites and in the case of Taormina shows how the city adapted to the several civilizations that stepped on its steep roads.
Do you know how to tell the difference between a Greek and the Roman theatre? There are usually two main give always that even non historians can usually spot.
These walls do no exist in theatres from Greek times.
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Take Taorminas Cable Car
Taormina is equipped with a fun cable car which connects the top of the city with the lower lands at sea level.
The cable car goes every 15 minutes and it is a fun ride.
The capsules take about 6 people each and while not overly scary, it is not the best thing to do if you are afraid of heights: the cable car windows and door are all glass so they are perfect for the views but offer little solace to the worried traveler!
If you are not afraid of heights or you think you can get over it, I do recommend taking the trip: the view is worth it and the able car saves you tons of time if you want to visit isola bella.
Do get a return ticket since the climb back up is long and steep!
Baia Taormina Hotels & Spa
The breakfast was fabulous.The dinner was even better.All the people working there were fantastically friendly.The hotel is located in the most beautiful place.Its typicality Sicilian!Shuttle service works perfectly, the bus goes to the city and back during the day till the late night.The beach is perfectly clean, there is a possibility to go to the beach with umbrellas and conveniences by shuttle bus but the hotel beach is also perfect.The pools are wonderful.The view is incredible.
Perfect location with direct access to the sea from the platform below! A view to die for!!!
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Be Very Careful If You Drive Your Car To Taromina
Be very careful if you drive your car to Taromina. It’s a very commercialised place. Compared to other cities in Sicily, Taromina is the most expensive. Greek theatre was closed to visitors due to a late afternoon concert. When we went back the second time next day, the theatre seating is more like a modern construction than old ruins. You can easily spend a day in old town and another day visiting mount Etna.
Castellammare Del Golfo Charming Coastal City
This small town, one of the most charming places to stay in Sicily, has a big name in English as well as in Italian translating to Sea Fortress on the Gulf.
The town is exquisitely beautiful, in an already outstandingly gorgeous area, and much of the activity is bound around tourism and the marina which is the heart and life of the town.
The beauty of the location has made the town a popular one with film makers: it is the setting of films and television shows such as the Oceans Twelve remake starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
The town used to have a terrible reputation and is the home town of some high-powered villains. However, the local criminal world came to an understanding with the tourism and hospitality industry: if the tourists were too scared to come to Sicily, the whole islands economy would suffer.
Therefore, an unwritten, but firmly honoured, contract came about in which the seedy underside of Sicily was kept away from tourists and tourist areas.
Castellammare del Golfo now offers a tranquil peace and calm that quite belies its former reputation and visitors can live, walk and explore in complete safety.
As with many towns in Sicily, the area is compact and easily walkable, with little need for public transport. You can hire a small boat to explore further along the coast and enjoy waterside fun.
Nightlife is available, with a few clubs, restaurants and pubs where you can enjoy a disco, a meal or some sociable drinks.
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Agrigento Where To Stay In Sicily For History Lovers
Agrigento is located on the south east coast of Sicily and 2 hours drive from Palermo. It is an archeological area and home to the most popular tourist attraction in Sicily the Valley of the Temples. Here you will find ruins from 3000 years ago with Hellenistic and Roman ancient settlements, temples, as well as archaeological museums.
If you are into history you will absolutely love your time here discovering these ancient sites! Dont forget your camera there are also a number of cool statues and sculptures scattered throughout the area!
As these historic sites are very popular, Agrigento is visited by tourists all year round. Thats why in this area you will be able to find more than enough restaurants, cafes, and bars. There are also very nice accommodation options in Agrigento so here are some of the best hotels to stay in Sicily: