If everything in Sorrento is made with lemons, everything in Sicily is made with almonds. Taormina has many pasticcerias which sell a tempting range of almond sweets, including beautifully made marzipan fruits.
I have to say that I am not entirely sure what one would do with a life size marzipan apple, or even (as I saw in one shop) a marzipan roast chicken, but smaller versions in gift boxes make good take-home gifts.
What to buy: Marzipan fruits and almond paste biscuits. Finding edible gifts for marzipan/almond haters is something of a challenge, although I did find some pistachio nougat.
What to pay: 6 euro and upwards for a small gift box.
Why throwing money on buying those souvenirs which wont find place in our homes? There a few craftwork shops in Taormina which offering fine souveniers mostly made of terracotta or glass. I tell you what, skip one dinner at the restaurant take pizza cut instead and spend money spared in that way on buying fine souvenier.
What to buy: Hmmm, it's hard to say or suggest because we all have our own preferences, but I would definatelly recommend something made of terracotta.
What to pay: from 15 up to 50 euros
There are plenty of stores on Via Luigi Pirandello and Viale San Pancrazio. If Taormina is your town of the trip, you may wait with your souvenir shopping until you visit other cities on your way to Palermo. Taormina is the most expensive one.
There is a Perfume store on Corso Umberto street. I was surprised to find not a large selection of perfume. Basically there is nothing special there, but I have to say that I did not see any other perfume store in Siracuse or Agrigento. Palermo had one, but their selection was even smaller.
Other souvenirs did look appealing to me. In general, there are no special souvenirs across Sicily exept beautiful cerramic dishes. You will find them anywhere in Sicily.
Antiques and pottery are the most common items you will find for sale in Taormina. Both of excellent quality, but proces are subject to the influence of the place and the enormous demand origintaed by uncountable crowds of people visiting almost all year around. Surely, summertime, from June to September is the most crowded and expensive period.
If you are really interested in pottery and similar goods, the best thing would be to pay a visit to Caltagirone (120 km South-West of Taormina) or Santo Stefano di Camastra (150 km North-West) where the original laboratories are producing them. Prices will be better and the choice almost infinite.
These are the only 2 places that you can purchase Vino Alla Mandorla as it is exclusive to these restaurants.
What to buy: In addition to the wine, definitely get yourself a cooking apron. Or, if you're buzzed at the time and can't decide on which one to get, get one of each kind like I did.
I've included pictures of the aprons I bought at the Cosmopolitan Da Pippo, along with the pair of silk boxers I just had to have-just to give an idea of the examples of souveniers you'll see in and around Castelmola and Taormina. For the record, I bought these as "gag gifts" for a few of my buddies. Then, I thought to myself that it would be cool to keep at least one and hang it in the kitchen. THEN, I couldn't decide which one to keep so I thought I'd keep them all. Then finally, I thought to myself that displaying these 3 aprons would make me look really odd, like if I ever decided to cook for a date. So, I kept the Michaelangelo one and gave the Miniman one to Billy and the cartoony-looking one (which looks subtle until you notice the placement of the carrot and tomatoes) to Rob.
As for the boxers-what is more amazing about the boxers themselves is the fact that I actually can fit into the darn things! Back in the day, I never would have been able to. They looked way small when I bought them as a novelty but I just might wear every now and then. The translation of the caption reads "Un Attimo...Mi Vesto E Vengo!!!" which in English means "One moment, I'll dress myself AND I'll come." Too funny.
What to pay: Guiseppe gave me 3 bottles for 10 Euros, which was an absolute bargain. But then again we dropped some serious bling on lunch and on the more than 12 bottles of wine and the 6 Peronis we drank.
He gave me a pretty good bargain on the aprons as well, but either way they are modestly priced on their own.
Just another of the many giftshops along Corso Umberto in Taormino. If I say "just another" what makes it so special?Friendliness. The workers were very nice and outgoing despite the fact I only really wanted to buy postcards. The fact that I attempted to speak Italian may have helped but they went out of their way to help me and after watching them with other customers it seems that they are that way with everyone.
On the downside they were a bit pricey but then again so are all the shops in Taormina.
What to buy: Postcards and other souviners to remember your visit to Taormina by.
What to pay: Depends on what you buy
Corso Umberto is the main street in Taormina. Every single building have a store at street levell. All kinds of commerce are available, from food to shoes and clothes. Prices aren't cheap.
It stretched from Porta Messina to Porta Catania and is just packed with elegant shops , butiques and cafes...
What to buy: Souvenirs, clothes, jewelry.... everything!