Holidays to Taormina Mare showcase designer shops, Sicilian cuisine and an impressive amphitheatre – not to mention a rather famous volcano.
A Sicilian favourite
Taormina Mare, on Sicily’s east coast, is the name given to the bays below Taormina’s clifftop town centre, a 2-minute cable car ride away. Down by the sea there are pebbly and sandy beaches, and promenades lined with bars and restaurants. Then, up above, you’ve got a Roman-Greek amphitheatre along with Italian jet-setters’ favourite shopping street, Corso Umberto I. All of this, and Mount Etna in the distance.
Isola Bella Bay
Isola Bella Bay is Taormina Mare’s main beach, a pebbly bay made up of 2 teardrop coves with clear azure waters. It’s split by Isola Bella island, a narrow path connecting it to the shore, where you’ll find exotic plants and seabirds like kingfishers and herons. A 10-minute walk away is Mazzaro Beach, a pebble-and-sand stretch with sunloungers and umbrellas for hire, plus beachside lidos for children.
Roman architecture and café culture
The Roman-Greek amphitheatre in Taormina was built in the 3rd-century BC, with the sea and Mount Etna creating a natural backdrop. A short stroll away, the Porta di Mezzo clocktower signals the start of the Medieval Quarter, a maze of narrow streets filled with souvenir and craft shops. And of course there’s Corso Umberto I, where the locals come to shop, socialise and drink cappuccinos.
Daytrips to Messina and Catania
A half-hour drive north gets you to the pretty town of Messina, home to a Norman cathedral that contains the remains of Conrad IV, ruler of Sicily in the 13th century. Catania, 40 minutes to the south, is famed for its theatrical Baroque architecture and the weekday clothes market off Via Etnea. And 75 minutes’ drive away is the ancient Greek city of Syracuse, where the Teatro Greco amphitheatre is a must-see.