Wednesday, November 16, 2011


(includes Castelmola, Gole dell’Alcantara, Letojanni, Mazzaro, Mt. Etna, Nicolosi, Sant’Alfio & Santa Maria La Scala)

Caffe Wunderbar – 7 Piazza IX Aprile; 011-39-0942-625-302; Tennessee Williams hung out here.

Caffe Wunderbar – 7 Piazza IX Aprile; 011-39-0942-625-302; Tennessee Williams started his evenings here.
Mocambo Bar – 8 Piazza IX Aprile; 011-39-094-223-350;; famous people-watching locale with mural depicting celebrities who have visited.

Isola Bella Islet – just past Capo Sant’Andrea headland, region’s prettiest cove; twin beach crescents sweep from sand spit out to minuscule islet; can walk here from cable car in minute; also can paddle from Lido Mazzaro around Capo Sant’Andrea, which hides grottoes with excellent light effects on seaward side.
Lido Letojanni – long wide beach north of Lido Mazzaro; more developed but less crowded than Giardini, large, built-up resort beach south of Isola Bella.
Lido Mazzaro – most popular beach; go south of town via cable car that leaves from Via Pirandello every 15 minutes; beach is among best equipped in Sicily, with bars, hotels, and restaurants; rent beach chairs, umbrellas, and watersports equipment at various kiosks from April to October.
Lido Spisone – long wide beach north of Lido Mazzaro; more developed but less crowded than Giardini, large, built-up resort beach south of Isola Bella.
Paradise Beach Club – Via Lungomare (Letojanni); 011-39-0942-36944; lies at beachfront’s east end; built on former Dr. Gayelord Hauser’s villa’s grounds (Greta Garbo’s confidant and dietician); for half or full day; freshwater pool; pleasant restaurant; registered lifeguard; open June to October; entrance fee includes all-day chaise longue and parasol.

Grand Hotel Timeo – 59 Via Teatro Greco; 011-39-0942-23801;; have Bellini on terrace.
Hotel Ashbee – 46 Viale San Pancrazio; 011-39-0942-23537;; boutique, luxury hotel; lovely.
Hotel Villa Sonia – 9 Via Porta Mola (Castelmola); 011-39-0942-28082;; former historic residence overlooking garden and swimming pool; most rooms have balcony with Mount Etna view.
Palazzo San Domenico – 5 Piazza San Domenico; 011-39-0942-613-111;; where Churchill stayed; former 14th Century Dominican monastery; best views of any hotel in city; some suites have jacuzzis on terraces facing sea.
Villa Sant’Andrea – 137 Via Nazionale (Mazzaro); 011-39-0942-627-1200;; seaside sister to Grand Hotel Timeo.

Caffe Wunderbar – 7 Piazza IX Aprile; 011-39-0942-625-302; Tennessee Williams hung out here.
La Giara – 1 Vico La Floresta; 011-39-0942-23360;; beautiful outdoor seating on veranda with tremendous views.
Granduca Ristorante Pizzeria – 172 Corso Umberto I; 011-39-0942-24983;; especially good seafood.
La Griglia – 54 Corso Umberto I; 011-39-0942-23980;; traditional Sicilian food.
La Grotta – 46 Via Scalo Grande (Santa Maria La Scala); 011-39-095-764-8153; atmospheric trattoria.
Casa Grugno – Via Santa Maria dè Greci; 011-39-0942- 21208;; some consider Taormina’s best restaurant.
Parco Reale – 9 Via Porta Mola (Castelmola, at Hotel Villa Sonia); 011-39-0942-28082;

Funivia dell’Etna – Rifugio Sapienza (Nicolosi); 011-39-0942-23605;; cable car.
Siciltrek – 27 Via Marconi (Sant’Alfio); 011-39-95-968-882 or 011-39-348-853-0310 (Andrea Ercolani’s personal cell);; ask for Ercolani for personalized tour of Mt. Etna with “vulcanologist.”

Carlo Panarello Antichita – 122 Via Corso Umberto I; 011-39-0942-23910; good selection Sicilian ceramics; also antiques, engravings, paintings, tablecloths, and umbrellas; also sells coppola (small hats) from Corleone.
Casa d’Arte Forin – 148 Via Corso Umberto I; 011-39-0942-23060; antique shop featuring bucolic Sicilian countryside and Ionian Sea scenes; excellent reproductions antique jewelry at good prices.
Ch’ien – 53 Via Bagnoli Croce; 011-39-0942-628-722; stylish and sophisticated gift shop.
Oggettistica e Arredi – 4 Via Fratelli Ingegnere; 011-39-0942-606-614; 18th-19th Century art reproductions.
La Torinese – 59 Via Corso Umberto I; 011-39-0942-23321; delicatessen established in 1936; good picnic foundations; breads, cheese, jams, pastries, pates, and sliced meats.

Alcantara Gorges – in Gole dell’Alcantara; 011-39-0942-985-010; gorges rushing with extremely cold water; bring bathing suit; allow at least hour for trip.
Biblioteca di Comune di Taormina – 3 Piazza XXV Aprile; 011-39-094-261-0260);; dignified, former Chiesa di Sant’Agostino, built in 1448 CE and majestically transformed into library around 1900.
Castelmola – 3km (2 miles) northwest of Taormina; small village; among eastern Sicily’s most beautiful places, with panoramic Mount Etna views on clear days.
Duomo Santa Caterina – Piazza Santa Caterina (off Corso Umberto I); 011-39-0942-23123).
Francavilla di Sicilia – village near Gola dell Alcantara; good for lunch.
Giardino Púbblico – Via Bagnoli Croce; pretty garden that overlooks sea; can order drinks at bar in park; open from dawn until dusk.
Mount Tauro – 3km (2 miles) northwest of Taormina; visit ruined castello (castle) on summit; hikers can follow footpath here; former acropolis ruins visible.
Museo Archeologico di Taormina – Via Circonvallazione (Palazzo Badia Vecchia); 011-39-0942-620-112; on ancient Roman baths site; archaeological remnants discovered during excavations in and around the city.
Palazzo Corvaja – Piazza Santa Catarina (Corso Umberto I); 011-39-0942-23243; among most famous palaces in Taormina; contains tourist office, Museo Siciliano di Arte e Tradizioni Popolari (Museum of Art and Popular Traditions).
Villa Communale or Parco Duca di Cesaro – Via Bagnoli Croce (off Corso Umberto I); among most beautiful little parks in all Sicily; gardens were Lady Florence Trevelyan’s creation (Edward VII’s exiled mistress) in late 19th Century; various amusements in gardens, including fanciful brick-and-stone pavilion conceived as teahouse.
Savoca – tiny, medieval village that Coppola used in Godfather movie(s).
SP 122 – national highway that leads into Taormina; very dramatic.
Stroll – along Corso Umberto I until reach small square, Piazza IX Aprile, which overlooks sea and Mount Etna; 1 side square open; other 3 sides enclosed by 17th Century Church of San Giuseppe, San Agostino (converted into library), and Torre dell’Orologio, from late 1600s.
Teatro Greco – Via del Teatro Greco; 011-39-0942-23220);; Taormina’s most visited monument, offering beautiful view over sea and Mount Etna; on premises display of artifacts from classical and early Christian periods; site of annual Taormina film festival.

No comments:

Post a Comment