Taormina Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Taormina

Planning a short break to Taormina? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Taormina. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Taormina. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

The International Film Festival

Housed at the Greek Amphitheater, every July. This festival attracts many patrons of the arts, every year. The Amphitheater also regularly offers theatrical performances from July to September. In addition, the churches and the other venues in Taormina, are the settings for a Summer Festival of Classical Music.

This festival is held from May to September and should not be missed if you are a music connoisseur.

Palazzo San Domenico

One of the greatest hotels of Italy. Set in the heart of the oldest neighbourhood, it originated in the 14th century as a Dominican monastery. Today it is surrounded by terraced gardens, and divided into reception rooms, two Romanesque courtyards, hideaway chapels and vaulted hallways. Guest rooms are situated in either the old monastery part of the hotel, or in the more opulent "newer" wings, added in 1897. All accommodations have richly accessorized bathrooms with shower/tub combinations. Facilities include an excellent restaurant, a piano bar, heated pool with a view, room service and laundry. Expect prices 274€ - 423€ double, from 700€ suite. Rates include breakfast. Located on Piazza San Domenico 5. Tel: 0942/613111.

Visit www.sandomenico.thi.it

Casa Grugno

Making a bold statement about modern Sicilian cuisine, this is the most creative and exciting restaurant in Taormina. The venue contains a bar, an ochre-coloured dining room and an outdoor terrace, surrounded by plants. The set-price menus include: an all-Sicilian menu and some appealing "tasting menus". Featured on the menu is, fusilli pasta with alla Trapanese, sardines becca fino, roasted pigeon with lentils, and shellfish soup, with saffron and chile peppers. Their impeccable version of Parmesan eggplant is most probably the most fragrant dish in this part of town. Main courses 14€ to 23€, set-price menus 40€ to 52€. Reservations are recommended. Located on Via Santa Maria de Greci. Tel: 0942/21208.

Greek Amphitheater (Teatro Greco)

The most visited monument in Taormina. It offers a magnificent view of Mount Etna and the seacoast. What remained of this attraction, dates from the 2nd century A.D. It is the site of the annual Taormina Film Festival. It also features an antiquarium, containing artifacts from the classical and early Christian periods. Hours are daily from 9am to 7pm (April to September, 9am to 4pm (October to March). Admission is 4.50€ adults, 2€ ages 18 - 25, free admission to persons over 65 and under 18. Located on the upper reaches of Taormina, Via del Teatro Greco. Tel: 0942/23220.

Museo Archeologico di Taormina

Taormina's newest museum in the Palazzo Badia Vecchia. Built on the site of the ancient and ruined Roman baths. It contains hundreds of archaeological remnants that have been discovered during excavations in and around the city. You will see pottery shards and artifacts of the ancient Roman world. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9am to 1pm, and 4 to 8pm. Admission is 2.60€. Located on Via Circonvallazione. Tel: 0942/620112.

Museo Siciliano di Arte e Tradizioni Popolari (

The museum is contained in one of the most famous palaces in Taormina, The Palazzo Corvaja. It consists of interconnected rooms filled with 18th-century oil portraits, woodcarvings, painted glass, brightly painted donkey carts, and embroidery. The secular portraits of the mid-19th century Sicilian bourgeoisie, are the most charming pieces in the collection. The palace is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 1pm, and 4 to 8pm. Entrance to the ground floor is free and admission to the museum is 2.60€. Situated on Piazza Santa Caterina, at Corso Umberto I. Tel: 0942/23243.

Villa Comunale

sometimes called Parco Duca di Cesaro, is one of the most beautiful parks in Sicily. It was the creation of Lady Florence Trevelyan, in the late 19th century. She was an avid bird-watcher and included various amusements in the garden, including a fanciful stone-and-brick pavilion (probably conceived as a teahouse). Here you will see a large variety of exotic flowering plants and scrubbery. The garden is open daily from 8:30am to 7pm, and admission is free. Located on Via Bagnoli Croce, off Corso Umberto I.

Giardino Pubblico (Public Garden) - Another garden in Taormina where you can enjoy the calmness of a flower-filled environment, overlooking the sea. There is a bar on site, where you can have a drink or two, and the garden is open from dawn to dusk. Located on Via Bagnoli Croce.

Shopping in Taormina

There is a wide variety of general and specialty shops in this area. Listing some of the better choices:

Ch'ien - A Stylish and sophisticated gift shop. Look for lamps in leopard-skin patterns, plastic handbags, carved boxes from China and India, house wares, and garden ornaments. All of this permeated with a Zen-like sense of calm. Located Bagnoli Croce 53. Tel: 0942/628722.

Casa d'Arte Forin - An antique shop featuring bucolic scenes of the Sicilian countryside and the Ionian Sea. Excellent reproductions of antique jewelry can be bought at good prices. The emphasis is on Sicilian and Venetian pieces. Located Corso Umberto I, 148. Tel: 0942/23060.

Carlo Panarello - Features an entire range of merchandise, including a good selection of Sicilian ceramics. Here you will also find deluxe umbrellas, tablecloths, and a mixture of antique furnishings, paintings, and engravings. Located on Corso Umberto I, 122. Tel: 0942/23910.

Oggettistica e Arredi - Sells mostly brass and silver reproductions of art objects from the 18th and 19th centuries. You will be able to buy a finely detailed doorknocker for 35€ - 85€. All reproductions is so close to the genuine articles, that you will be hard-pressed to tell them apart. Located Via Fratelli Ingegnere 4. Tel: 0942/606614.

La Torinese - This delicatessen was established in 1936. Here you can get all the foundations for a good picnic. The shop offers combinations of cheese, sliced meat, pates, breads, jams, and pastries that is absolutely divine. It also has an impressive collection of wines, liqueurs, and grappas. Located Corso Umberto I, 59. Tel: 0942/23321.

Gole dell'Alcantara

To see some beautiful rapids and waterfalls, head outside of town to this spot, that offers a series of gorges. It is possible to walk up the river from May to September (when the water level is low). You are likely to get wet, so take your bathing suit. You can rent rubber boots at the entrance , if you do not have appropriate shoes. From October to April, only the entrance is accessible, but the view is always panoramic. It costs 2.50€ to enter the gorge daily from 9am to 5pm. Tel: 0942-985010.

Biblioteca di Comune di Taormina

Taormina has one of the most charming public libraries in Italy. The setting is the severely dignified Chiesa di Sant'Agostino, originally built in 1448, and majestically transformed to a library around 1900.

It offers reading tables and shelves filled with leather-bound books and journals.

The library is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 12:30pm, and Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4 to 7:30pm. Located Piazza IX Aprile 3. Tel: 0942/610206.

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