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  • The salts-pans area in Nubia, Trapani
    The salt pan area in Nubia, Trapani
  • Citrons and tangerins at the market in Catania
    Citrons and tangerins at the market in Catania
  • A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
    The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
  • A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area
    Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area

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Taormina city break


Taormina is a small town on the east coast of the island of Sicily,perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian sea in the Province of Messina, about midway between Messina and Catania. Taormina has been a very popular tourist destination since the 19th century. It has popular beaches (accessible via a cable-way) on the Ionian sea, which is remarkably warm and has a high salt content.
Taormina’s area was inhabited by the Siculi even before the Greeks arrived on the Sicilian coast in 832 BC to found a town called Naxos. The theory that Tauromenion (Taormina in ancient Greek) was founded by colonists from Naxos is confirmed by ancient writers.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Taormina continued to be one of the more important towns of Sicily, and from the strength of its position was one of the last places that was retained by the Greek emperors; but it was taken by the Arabs in 902 after a siege of two years, and totally destroyed. Taormina was renamed “Al-Muizzia” in honour of Imam al-Muizz, who was a Fatimid Caliph. Muslim rule of the town (see History of Islam in southern Italy) lasted until 1078, when it was captured by the Norman lord Roger I.
After the fall of the Normans and of their heirs, the Hohenstaufen, Taormina followed the history of Sicily under the Angevines and then the Aragonese. In 1410 King Martin II of Sicily was elected here by the Sicilian Parliament. Later Taormina was under Spanish suzerainty, receiving the title of City in the 17th century.
In 1675 it was besieged by the French, who had occupied Messina. Under the Bourbons dynasty of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, Taormina did not have a relevant role.
Starting from the 19th century Taormina became a popular tourist resort in the whole Europe: people who spent vacation in Taormina include Oscar Wilde, Nicholas I of Russia, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nietzsche (who here wrote his Also sprach Zarathustra), Richard Wagner and many others. Also credited for making Taormina popular was Otto Geleng, best known in his hometown of Berlin for his fine paintings, which he composed and painted in Italy but exhibited in Germany. During the early 20th century the town became a colony of expatriate artists, writers, and intellectuals. D. H. Lawrence stayed here at the Fontana Vecchia from 1920 to 1922, and wrote a number of his poems, novels, short stories, and essays, and a travel book, Sea and Sardinia. During the 50s Taormina was elected as one of the hippiest place by celebrities from all over the world.
The most remarkable monument remaining at Taormina is the Greek theatre, which is one of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily, on account both of its remarkable preservation and of the surpassing beauty of its situation. Just south of Taormina is the Isola Bella, a nature reserve; and further south, situated beside a bay, is the popular seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Tours of the Capo Sant’ Andrea grottos are also available.
Besides the ancient Greek theatre, it has many old churches, lively bars, fine restaurants, and antique shops.
Taormina is approximately a forty-five minute drive away from Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna and it is strategically placed to visit all important tourist sites and attraction in Eastern Sicily.

Grand Hotel Timeo, 5*

Hotel Timeo 9

The magic of Taormina has fascinated many great writers, like Guy de Maupassant, Goethe and Lawrence. The city is placed on the hillside of the Tauro mount, in a suggestive and unique scenery. The position of the hotel is lucky: …
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Villa Sant’Andrea, 5*

Villa S. Andrea 5

Built by an aristocratic family in 1830 and surrounded by lush and subtropical gardens, the Hotel Villa Sant’Andrea retains all the charm of a private residence. The hotel overlooks the clear sea and it is set on its own exclusive …
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Grand Hotel San Domenico 5*

S DOMENICO (22)

Writing a stay at the San Domenico Palace Hotel in one’s Carnet de Voyage is a full immersion in history and luxury .
Converted in a Luxury Hotel from a former Dominican monastery of the 15th century San Domenico Palace still preserve intact all the original structures and ancient wall that recalls the quietness and peace of the old monastic life. An enchanting setting of rare magic, a jewel, a place of joy and precious emotions. The San Domenico Palace has since become the most famous monastery-hotel in the world.
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