The church of St Catherine of Alexandria was built in the 17th century on the site of the former Roman Odeon, part of the ruins of which can be seen inside the church.
Inside is a marble statue of St Catherine dating from 1483. In her right hand is a palm of martyrdom and in her left an open book indicating her status as a noblewoman educated in philosophy.
S. Panacrazio (St Pancras) is the patron saint of Taormina.
The church is built in the baroque style. The statue on the left of the portal is St Panacrazio himself; the statue to the right is St Procopio, who was martyred at the time of the Saracen invasion for refusing to renounce his Christian faith and convert to Islam.
Inside, there is a painting on the left hand side depicting the martyrdom of St Procopio. On the right is a painting of the martyrdom of St Nicone and 99 monks during the persecution of Christians. San Nicone was a Neapolitan priest, who with his monks came to settle near the river Akesines (now Alcantara). The interior is very ornate.
When all the sightseeing and/or shopping gets a bit too much, these gardens are a wonderful place to relax. They were donated to the town by Florence Trevelyan in the 1920s.
As well as the plants and the follies and observation towers Miss Trevelyan built, there are also wonderful views over the bay to Giardini Naxos and Etna. And some souvenirs of the war. The path along the top of the garden (nearest the road) is lined by olive trees bearing memorial plaques for soldiers who died in the First World War.
There are occasional concerts here in summer. For those with small children, there is a play area.
There used to be a nice little cafe, also with great views, but it seems to have closed, sadly. However, there are shops near the park where you can buy drinks or ice creams, or even sandwiches.
A couple of Amazon parrots live in the gardens. Do go and say 'hello!'
This medieval building was the venue for a meeting of the Sicilian Parliament in 1411. Nowadays it houses a tourist information office (downstairs) and a museum of Sicilian arts and crafts (upstairs).
Exhibits include woodcarving (including the traditional puppets), textiles and ceramics. Of particular interest are the nativity scenes, which were very popular in the 19th century. Some of these are very elaborate, with many figurines and unlikely backdrops (including a prickly pear cactus).
Admission 2,60 Euro.
Photos to follow.
There's a fascinating baroque fountain in Piazza Duomo, with seahorses, cherubs and a female centaur. The centaur is the symbol of Taormina.
There are a couple of cafes in the Piazza as well. I can recommend the strawberry granita at Billy & Billy (though I have yet to find a bad granita anywhere in Taormina).
During the daytime the piazza is a popular meeting place for tour groups.
The Cathedral is dedicated to St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. It was raised to the status of minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1980.
The original construction dates from the 13th century, though it was rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries and restored in the 18th. The entrance portal was rebuilt in 1636. The interior is a Latin cross with nave, 2 aisles and 3 apses. The columns supporting the nave are of Taormina pink marble and come from the Greco-Roman theatre.
On the right hand side is an acheropite image with a silver mantle, the work of an anonymous silversmith, but hallmarked Messina 1695. The word acheropite comes from Byzantine Greek and means not created by human hands – i.e. it is a miraculous icon, not created by a human painter. It was found in an ancient well, where it was hidden from the invading Arabs. A local tradition says it was made and given by the angels to St Pancras, the patron saint of Taormina.
The cathedral looks rather forbidding from the exterior, with its crenellated stone facade. However, linger at a cafe in the square in the late afternoon and you may be able to watch it being prepared for an evening wedding, with red carpet and floral bouquets at the entrance.
Etna (3,343m/11,032ft) lies in the east of the island of Sicily, close to the coast and northwest of Catania.
It is Europe's largest active volcano and the second highest mountain in Italy after the Alpine peaks. It's almost circular base is 40km/25mi in diameter and 165km/102mi in circumference.
There are more than 100 known eroptions of Etna, the most recent one was in 1992.
The Etna area has been designated as a National Park.
There are day tours available to Mount Etna.
The scenic Circumetnea Railroad circles Mount Etna and stops at several villages.
The Ancient theatre is the most remarkable monument in Taormina.
This Greek theatre is one of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily, on account both of its remarkable preservation and its beautiful location.
It is built for the most part of brick with a diameter of 109 metres. This theatre is the second largest of its kind in Sicily (after that of Syracuse).
It is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances and for concerts. Even the greater part of the original seats have disappeared, the wall is preserved.
From the fragments of architectural decorations still extant you can learn that it was of the Corinthian order. Some portions of a temple are also visible.
Corso Umberto (named after Italian King) is the main street of Taormina, the real heart of this small town. It is relatively short but vivid and very pitoresque street ful of small shops, art galleries and cafe-bars. It starts at Piazza Badia and ends at Piazza IX Aprile. Corso Umberto is the only wide street in the city core of Taormina
There excist controversy regarding Greek Theatre of Taormina. It is undoubtelly of Greek origins, its plan and arrangements are in accordance with those of typical Greek theatre constructions. However, the theatre was built for the most parts of brick and it indicates its Roman origins. The Greek theatres were built excusevely from the stone......
Palazzo Corvaia is medieval construction dating from the 10th century, originally was built by the Arabs. The Arabs have conquered town in 902 and this palace was among first built during their rule. The palace was subsequently added to over various periods up intil the 15th century but it main body remained an Arabic styled tower. The same Arabic style could be seen in its inner courtyard in particularly on arched windows and the doorway. The staircase and the ornamental balcony was added later on in the 13th century.
The palace takes its name from the Corvaja (or Corvaia) family, who were amongst Taormina's most important aristocrats and owned it from 1538 to 1945. In 1410 it was seat of the Sicilian Parliament.
What a nice way to reach the bottom and the beach!
The Cable Car runs from Taormina to Mazzaro, departing every 15mins, and taking just 2 minutes in transit, so you had better have your Camera out and ready to take the great view!
You arrive at the beach of Isola Bella and the diving school of Taormina.
The cable car of Taormina can be found in Via Luigi Pirandello, 3 minutes walk from Porta Messina.
TIME-TABLE......Mon. 9.00 a.m. - 1.00 a.m.
.....................Tue.-Sun. 8.00 a.m. - 1.00 a.m.
ONE WAY... 1.80 EUROS......RETURN....3 EUROS
Located in the city garden park at Taormina, there is a manned or Human Torpedo on display. It has an information board beside it which I presume was written in Italian. I wonder if anybody can translate from the photo.
This area of the park, near the Villa Comunale, is an area to remember the Dead and the wars, so I saw some Memorial's, and the Olive Tree row of Rememberance.
The Torpedo was very interesting. They were secret Naval weapons used in World War II. The photo showed that it would have been riden by two men in diving suits riding astride the Torpedo. They steered the torpedo at slow speed to the enemy ship where detachable warhead was then used as a limpet mine. They then rode the torpedo away, hoping not to be caught. They were used for attacking many ships in the Mediterranean that were in enemy harbours.
The Italian Maiale was an electrically propelled human torpedo, that carried two men. A normal Submarine would carry them to the target, and then launch them, this was usually during the night.
It was nicknamed by the Italian's "The Pig."
I would like to know the history of the one on display.
These gardens were very nice, and they held some surprises too!
They are known as "typical Mediterranean" gardens, so I was interested in seeing what they were like.
Well, I thought they were lovely. Lots of neatly trimmed hedges and flower beds, topiary of animals and Bonsai Trees, cobblestones paths and plenty of seating, I thought it was just the area to sit in the shade on such a hot day!
There is the natural “Teatro di Verzura” [Greenery Theatre], and then if you walk to the ocean edge of the gardens, I had a marvellous view over the coastline.
open daily 9am to dusk
Entrance is Free
In the Public Gardens, is the Villa Comunale which is also known as Parco Duca Di Cesaro.
They are in part ruins, and blended lovely with the garden. There is quite a story about the Scottish lady Florence Trevelyan Cacciola.
Florence, was "invited" to leave England following a romantic liaison with the future Edward VII.
She arrived in Taormina in 1889 and married a local professor and set about building these gardens. She planted them with Mediterranean plants and had ornamental pavilions made of bricks and Arabesque designs. Florence was a keen ornithologist and used the towers to study Bird's in the garden.
Walking along the pathway to the ocean side of the villa is a must, as the views are wonderful of the ships anchored in the Bay, the beach and the other large Villa's built on the edge of the hill
The garden is open.... Daily 9 am-sunset
Entrance is Free