Seems to hang between the rocks and the sea, on the terrace that is formed by Mount Tauro. The scenario is unique in its’ beauty; the colours, the contrasts, the light and the lush vegetation. Taormina is among the most desired and visited sea-resorts in Sicily, but also of all Italy. From its position up there on Mount Tauro the town seems to want to admire the sunrise on the Ionian sea. Its beauty and its surroundings manages to attract tourists from all over the world. While on journey in Sicily, Johann Wolfgang Goethe came to Taormina in 1787, and he got struck by the beauty of the scenario and wrote in his diary:
“To the right, on two rocks, there are castles ,below lies the town of Taormina. Even though the town is of recent construction, it is easy to imagine that there has always been constructions at this spot. Then you see the slopes of Mount Etna, to the left you see the beach that goes all the way to Catania, or perhaps even Syracuse. The enormous smoking mountain of fire closes the scenery, without giving a sensation of fear; the atmosphere softens and makes Mount Etna seem sweeter and more distant than she really is”. On the 6th of May that same year the great German traveller admired the Greek Theatre, and from where he was seated, on the highest steps of the theatre, he admitted that: “never could a theatre audience have a similar vision before them”. These words were written more than 200 years ago, but not much has changed. All the corners, the atmosphere, and the colours of Taormina enchant new visitors the same way as Goethe was enchanted. During every season of the year the irresistible charm satisfy the needs of every kind of visitor, the ones that want a calm holiday, enjoy nature, as well as the ones looking for action, emotions and encounters. International cultural events of great importance add to making Taormina a point of reference for the knowledge of all other tourist realities in Sicily.
The climate is sweetly mitigated. In the summer there is a moist warmth with temperatures reaching 40° C, but rarely going over this temperature, in the summer it hardly ever rains, but the climate is not to be considered arid. The half-seasons are very beautiful, in fact, spring and autumn have an ideal climate, without moisture and full of sunny days, warmth and little rain. The winter is a bit cooler: temperatures vary from 10-15° C, and there are beautiful sunny days during this period as well. On the 1th of January takes place the famous swim in the sea. A special mention goes to the pride and symbol of Taormina, the Greek-Roman Theatre. This theatre is famous all over the world, for its enviable position that has inspired numerous paintings of the theatre with Mount Etna as its background. This view is unique in nature. The only other Greek-Roman theatre that can compete with the one in Taormina, regarding size and beauty, is the one in Syracuse. During ancient times the theatre was of course used for representations of comedies and tragedies of the great ancient classical authors. Since the theatre of Taormina is in excellent shape, it is used as an exceptional location for concerts, shows and events. The town of Taormina hosts every year, thanks to the work of Taormina Arte, a veritable cultural institution, a festival of dance, theatre and music, around which revolve a whole series of events.
Certainly the most important event organized in Taormina is the Taormina FilmFest. This historic event, held in the Sicilian town for over fifty years, has seen honored guest actors and singers of international fame such as Marlon Brando, Winston Churchill, Rockefeller, Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio de Sica, Sophia Loren, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Gianna Nannini, Anastacia, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz, Claudio Baglioni and many others. It is inside the Greek theatre inTaormina that are projected major international movie-premieres and is assigned by expert film critics, the famous Silver Ribbon, prestigious award second only to the American Oscars. In other buildings of the town are held Lessons of Cinema and conferences related to issues relevant to the film world. It is here that internationally renowned directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Luc Besson, Roberto Benigni, Carlo Verdone, Giuseppe Tornatore, Enzo Monteleone, Alexis Sweet, found the inspiration to produce films which, thanks to choreography, and beautiful landscapes have become famous.
For all of these reasons Taorminahas always been a major tourist destination,offering its visitors a mild climate and landscapes and many natural attractions, and the richness in artistic heritage is unique. In addition to the above-mentioned artistic beauty, Taormina is known to offer its visitors a broad range of activities.Festivals, sports activities, religious festivals, concerts, theatre, shopping sprees, and especially walking. Furthermore,Taormina is a mundane city par excellence. Along the Corso Umberto and its charming alleys there are shops offering a wide range of choices. For a city of bon vivant, as Taormina, bars and cafes are an established institution. For those who like to stay up late dancing there are discotheques that reproduce the rhythm of techno music and the dance-music of the ’70s.
So, while you wander around among granitas, cassata-cake, cannolis and almond-wine, among tourists and beauties from every nation, you will have an infinity of choices when it comes to what to do and where to go….. If you want to visit Taormina during the FilmFest or during high-season you must book as early as possible since the town literally is stormed during these periods. Each visitor must handle his/her own gluttony because the temptation to see, experience, taste and enjoy this miracle of nature, and you want it all, at once. ……and you will get mesmerized and come to understand that perhaps only one holiday is not enough. All of this because the quantity of places to see and experience offered by this corner of Sicily can only be equalled by the vision of its’ starry sky at night