Taormina is traditionally a spring/summer retreat, however given that we are going on a mini road-trip to some of the major Sicilian cities (Palermo– Acireale– Catania– Siracusa) we thought we might as well pass through.
Unfortunately, as luck would have it, we choose an inopportune day to visit as it was drizzling with grey skies and also the carnevale celebrations, which meant that the ancient theatre was closed- one of the main reasons I wanted to stop by. The town is not oozing with things to do, with the main attractions being the ancient greek theatre, communal villa gardens, Corso Umberto (the main shopping street) and isola bella (a small nature reserve island just off Taormina’s coast). I wouldn’t personally recommend making a trip just to Taormina, unless you’re looking for a beach holiday, but it you’re passing through then it is worth a brief pit stop. Even if the weather couldn’t compare to the summer months, it still didn’t stop us from experiencing Taormina’s charm, winding vicoli and front row sea views that has attracted tourists to visit since the 19th century.
A quick note on parking: Parking in the centre of town can prove difficult as generally only residents or tourists who have a hotel/ rented accommodation are allowed to park in town. On the way into town, on duty police officers may ask you for proof of your reservation or residency in advance so be prepared. Our solution to this was to park at Porto Catania car parking lot, which was right on the outskirts of Taormina- about a 2 minute walk into town. It costed €2.00 for an hour but can cost up to €4.00 during peak season (August), which is a little on the pricey side, but is okay if you’re planning to have a brief meander around the town. Other parking lots near by include Parking Lumbi which is a little further away from town (about 10 minutes walk up the ‘scalinata’– staircase).