Taormina, known as the “pearl of the Mediterranean,” is today one of the most sought after tourist destinations internationally. Appreciated by illustrious travellers of the past, such as Goethe who in his book “Viaggio in Italia” exalted its beauty, this picturesque city has become a fundamental stage of the “Grand Tour,” a long journey undertaken by young European aristocrats to enrich their culture.
The suggestive Greco-Roman theatre, built by the Greeks in a panoramic position with the background of the Gulf of Naxos and the Etna volcano, is the main monument of the city. It is the second largest ancient theatre in Sicily after that of Syracuse. During the summer, it hosts international music and theatre shows, such as the Taormina Arte Festival.
The northern entrance of the city, once surrounded by Arab fortification walls, begins the walk through the center of Taormina. Along this path there are small craft shops and antiques, along with picturesque fragrant alleys.
The fifteenth-century Palazzo Corvaja, with its suggestive internal courtyard and the splendid mullioned windows on the front, was the seat of the Sicilian Parliament.
The island of Isola Bella, the famous bay of Taormina, was acquired in 1890 by Miss Florence Trevelyan, who built a delightful house surrounded by rare plants. In the 1950s, it became a luxury hotel, hosting celebrities from the international jet set. Its history and natural beauty make Isola Bella a fascinating attraction in the beautiful setting of Taormina.