Taormina Port is located in the region of Sicily, giving visitors the opportunity to experience a warm Mediterranean climate. The Taormina cruise port is actually located in nearby Giardini Naxos. Ships here anchor offshore and passengers are tendered to the dock.
A number of talented crafters make Taormina their home. Some of the handmade items you can find here include leather crafts and pottery. Wine is also produced locally.
Several stores offer visitors the opportunity to find great gift items. Carlo Panarello offers authentic Sicilian ceramics, as well as home furnishings. Gioilleria Guiseppe Stroscio offers antique jewelry, as well as modern designs. Giovanni di Blasi offers high-quality ceramics that include Caltagirone pottery.
Things to See
The area's main attraction is Mt. Etna, a volcano that's still active. It's also known to be the oldest active volcano in existence. If seeing the summit interests you, there are guided tours you can take. The peak is high enough to contain snow during the summer months, and the lava flows light the area up at night.
A clock tower called Torre dell'Orogio is a main point of interest in town. It's a 12th century structure with a 17th century clock. This is one of many historical sites in town. Greek ruins are still found in the city, which were originally part of a Greek gymnasium complex. A burial site dating back to Byzantine times is here. There's even a fountain originally constructed in the 17th century.
The city has nice public gardens that are a main attraction. Some of the sights here include flowering trees, rare flower species, and numerous birds. Several beaches are located close to the city, and allow opportunities for sailing and diving. If you like to fish, there are several good spots here.
A visit to Taormina would be incomplete without seeing some of the historic churches. St. Pancras, one of the older churches, was built over the site of a Roman temple. The cathedral is home to the Byzantine Madonna icon. Other churches of note include the 16th century St. Catherine's and the city's only Anglican church, St. George. A former monastery, San Domineco, is now a hotel that has many of the original religious artifacts in a permanent exhibit.
If old theaters are interesting to you, don't forget Teatro Greco, an open-air theater with influences from both ancient Greek and Roman cultures.
Restaurants and Bars
The restaurants here serve a lot of Sicilian specialties, including involtini. Fresh seafood is also a dish of interest, especially swordfish. Fresh cannoli pastries and gelato ice cream are sure to be hits for dessert.
For local seafood, try Al Settimo del Paradiso. It does keep somewhat limited dinner hours, so reservations are helpful. Club Septimo offers international cuisine. For good traditional Italian food, try Al Duomo, Granduca, or Maffei's. Good Mediterranean food can be found at Bella Blu or Casa Grugno.
Taormina has a fairly active nightlife. The San Domenico Hotel has its own cocktail bar. The Mocambo Bar is located in an ideal outdoor location.