Exploring Taormina and the 21st Century Grand Tour


Taormina is one of the most important tourist destinations in Italy, and for good reasons. Taormina has long been a popular destination for vacationers. Artists, musicians and writers of international renown, as well as Hollywood stars, all sojourned in this little town, bewitched by the unique panorama spanning the Ionian Sea and the Etna volcano.

Founded by Sicels in the 5th century B.C., Taormina was conquered by by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragoneses, Hasburgs and Bourbons. This long series of dominations finally ended with the unification of Italy in 1860. Taormina’s tumultuous history left a legacy of fine architecture that merits attention.

This tour is led by an archaeologist and offers an insight into Taormina’s outstanding historical, architectural and cultural heritage, which made it a compulsory stop on the Grand Tour.

Take a look at our villas near Taormina >>

Itinerary (lasts approximately 3.5-4h)

The itinerary starts at Porta Messina and ends at Porta Catania, the town’s two main gates. Walking along Corso Umberto, we stop to admire Palazzo Corvaja’s original blend of Arabic, Gothic and Spanish architectural styles. Other stops include Piazza Duomo with its emblematic fountain and its 13th century basilica, as well as Piazza 25 Aprile, which offers a breathtaking view on the bay of Naxos. This is also a good place to indulge in an almond granita (or any other typical flavours). Then, making our way down narrow and winding alleys and staircases, we reach the remains of the Odeon and a Greek gymnasium (wrongly named Naumachias). We continue on to the impressive Greek-roman Theatre, with its magnificent view on the Ionian Sea and the often snow-capped Etna in the background. The tour ends with a stroll in Taormina’s charming and peaceful Public Garden, a rather frivolous and welcome addition designed by an eccentric Englishwoman, Mrs. Trevelyan.

For children, see our workshop for families in Taormina >> 

Terms and Conditions

Think Experiences are provided by independent local companies which are neither owned not controlled by The Thinking Traveller and for whom we act only as an agent. Whilst every effort is made to keep the description of every Think Experience up to date, the provider may cancel or amend your experience at their discretion for many reasons including where it considers that there may be a risk to your comfort, health or safety. Some excursions/activities (i.e. helicopter rides, excursions on Mount Etna, boat charter, etc.) may contain an element of risk or require a good level of physical fitness, and, if in doubt, you should contact us so we can put you in contact directly with the local provider before deciding to buy. Please also check that you are covered for the activity(ies) in question by your travel insurance policy.

In acting in the capacity of an agent on behalf of the provider, your contract will be with that provider and will be subject to their standard terms and conditions, and it will not form part of your contracted holiday arrangements with us. Any complaint (including any allegation of breach of contract or negligence) should be taken up with the excursion/activity provider directly. We will do our best to assist you, but will have no liability in relation to the performance of that contract.

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