Taormina has long been Sicily’s most favourite resort town. Situated in the northwest of the island, it is perched on a coastal escarpment that looks out onto the Tyrrhenian sea between Messina and Catania. Its ancient narrow streets are full of small specialist shops, cafes, and restaurants, which invite visitors to step into the spell cast by this intriguing town.
Indeed, this romantic city has been the inspiration of writers and poets alike, including D.H. Lawrence who lived in the town for a number of years. Here in Taormina he found the inspiration to write his most famous work: the passionate love story of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
Taormina was settled in 395 BCE by residents from the nearby town of Giardini- Naxos, Sicily’s oldest Greek-established city dating back to 735 BCE. Taormina flourished during ancient Roman times, its beauty and culinary products praised by many ancient writers. Taormina survived the fall of the Roman Empire, but her importance did decrease after later invasions by the Arabs, Byzantines, and Normans, who all left their mark on the city with the fortifications they built above it.
The ancient quality of the town is truly magical; even a simple walk through the main street will have you smitten. The array of specialty shops full of fashion designer clothing, jewellery, ceramics, mosaics, puppets, antique books, and artwork are fascinating to browse through. The sunny squares along the main street are perfect for soaking up the golden sunshine and admiring the views. The narrow streets, with their characteristic wrought iron balconies, lanterns, and lava stone pavement, are full of delicate homes and intricate churches.