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Sicily

Sicily, and the wonder of Giardini Naxos and Taormina

Along a wide bay at the foot of the famous Taormina on Sicily’s east coast, Giardini Naxos is a small municipality that can be visited by strolling through its small picturesque streets and along the splendid seafront promenade.

To fully experience its beauty, go for a boat trip or some relaxation on its beaches, free or equipped: admire the panorama of the coast.

If you want to enjoy good food, you will be spoilt for choice among restaurants and cafes. 

1. The most beautiful beaches in Giardini Naxos and Taormina

The beaches of Giardini Naxos and Taormina are divided into two types, with fine sand or with pebbles.

The former are located in the central area, from the harbour to Kalkis Square, the latter in the Recanati. Here you will find Recanati beach, of the same name, predominantly free, of mixed sand and gravel.

Among the must-see beaches is Isola Bella, opposite the small island of the same name: the perfect beach for those who love diving, thanks to the spectacular seabed to explore.

Then there is Mazzarò beach, for those who enjoy the relaxation ofa day lying on a sunbed and entertainment and nightlife.

The Spisone Beach  is the calmer one, with its striking landscape divided into two scenarios: to the south sheer rocks and breathtaking views, to the north a long stretch of sand and sea without rocks.

For water sports, you must go to Letojanni Beach and if you love wild environments, you cannot miss  San Marco Beach in Calatabiano.

Finally, Saja marina. What characterises this beach are the small bays cut out of the lava rocks rising from the water. A paradise for relaxation, enjoy the beauty of the seabed while snorkelling and canoeing.

2. A trip to the Schisò Castle in Giardini Naxos

It is located towards the harbour at the southern end of the city. Once a fortress built as a defence of the promontory from settlements, it later became a base for the sugar processing industry and finally an aristocratic home. Today it is restored and open to the public.

A short walk away is Schisò beach. Golden, with fine sand, it is among the most popular with tourists as well as being a super family and child-friendly shoreline.

3. Enter the centre of Taormina through Porta Messina

The entrance to Porta Messina is in the northern part of the city. Once surrounded by fortifications built by the Arabs, it leads us to the “struscio”, a picturesque walk through the historical centre  of Taormina.

Here, you will find small craft workshops, antique shops, fragrant and multicoloured alleys.

Then,there is Palazzo Corvaja, the seat of the Sicilian Parliament in 1400 with its picturesque inner courtyard and beautiful mullioned windows with two lights on the front. Currently, the first floor houses the museum of popular arts and traditions, while the ground floor is the tourist information office.

Continuing along Corso Umberto, you reach Piazza del Duomo, with its beautiful Baroque fountain.

4. Taormina’s Ancient Theatre

The ancient Greeks loved to build their buildings in picturesque and scenic locations. Here, they found nothing less than Mount Etna and the bay of Naxos, with wonderful views. From here, when the sky is clear, the view reaches as far as the Calabrian coast.

The Ancient Theatre of Taormina is certainly the city's main monument, for its historical and artistic value, and for its location.

The auditorium with its tiers of seats is large enough to make it the second largest ancient theatre in Sicily, after that of Syracuse. The niches that can be seen at the back, housed the statues used to embellish it. This place underwent various adaptations in Roman times, and for a time was also used as an arena for gladiators. During the summer, events, musical and theatrical performances are held here.