A day trip to Taormina
During my trip to Catania in October, a group of us hired a car and drove to nearby Taormina for a little day trip. It’s one of Sicily’s more popular resorts, and perched high on a hilltop it’s not hard to see why.
But first, let me take a moment to share that the fact we even made it there in one piece is a miracle in itself (and with many thanks to our incredible driver Ellie). Let’s just say that Italian health and safety is not to the same standards we have here.
Terrifying journey aside, we arrived in Taormina via the winding mountain roads and found a tiny car park in the centre of the town. We soon found it to be much busier and more touristy than Catania, but nevertheless it was worth the trip just to wander through the little streets and marvel at the pinky-peach architecture.
Taormina has a long history, founded in 4th century BC under the Greeks. More recently, it became the hometown of DH Lawrence between 1920 - 1923.
We spent a few hours popping in and out of the numerous boutiques that line the main street, with a long leisurely lunch at Caffé Wunderbar - an incredible restaurant boasting a view that stretched across the glistening bay all the way to neighbouring town, Naxos. I highly recommend the Bruschetta -so good!
Food and drink was much pricer than Catania but that’s to be expected for a more touristy area and the views made it worthwhile. There are several beautiful little churches along the main street, one of which we took some time to wander round and reflect.
The shops are full of locally-made wares, along with designer brands so there is something for everyone.
Taormina is also home to a large Greek theatre dating back to the 3rd century BC, which sadly we didn’t actually get a chance to see.
We did however, take a drive down from the clifftop to one of the beaches for a swim in the Ionia Sea (well more of a paddle for me as I’m not a confident swimmer). The beach, like most on the eastern coast of Sicily, was made up of pebbles and was largely empty so we sat for a while post-swim, watching the cruise ships that dock in the bay.
The whole day was a lovely break from the moody atmosphere of Catania and was full of laughter and memories that I will hold for a very long-time (many of which involved the hair-raising journey!).
I’d highly recommend a trip to Taormina if you happen to find yourself on the eastern coast of Sicily.