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Porta Catania

Porta Catania: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Catania: Day Trip to Mount Etna and Taormina

1. From Catania: Day Trip to Mount Etna and Taormina

Hike to the highest active volcano in Europe, Mt Etna, and continue to the characteristic town of Taormina on a guided day trip from Catania with return hotel transfers. Visit old craters and lava flow caves and sit down for a picnic lunch in nature with a glass of wine. Start with a pickup from your accommodation in Catania and make your way to Etna. Get introduced to the fascinating world of volcanic phenomena by your guide. Gear up in hiking equipment and walk through ancient woods, extinct craters and past lava flows on Etna. Explore a volcanic cave and the surrounding landscape of Etna. After working up an appetite, enjoy a packed lunch with some typical street food products in an open area. In case of bad weather, go to a refuge to munch on sandwiches.  Next, head to the historical center of Taormina for a self-guided visit. Admire the Ionian coast on one side and Mount Etna on the other, immersed in a picturesque atmosphere. Visit the elegant avenue that separates the medieval city gates, Porta Catania and Porta Messina, walk down the alleys, and see the Greek theater. After your visit to Taormina, jump back on board for the return trip to Catania.

Taormina: Guided Walking Tour

2. Taormina: Guided Walking Tour

Wander beautiful Taormina on a guided walking tour. Visit the town's sights, including Porta Catania, Public Gardens, and the ancient Greco-Roman amphitheater. Walk the smallest street in Europe on Viccolo Stretto. Stroll through picturesque Taormina high above the Ionian Sea with Mount Etna looming in the distance. Walk the charming Corso Umberto I. Visit the stunning ancient amphitheater for some unforgettable views. Enjoy a walk in the Public Gardens amid a dazzling array of flourishing plant life. Discover the town's history with a knowledgeable guide.

Taormina: Sunset Walking Tour & Aperitif on Rooftop Terrace

3. Taormina: Sunset Walking Tour & Aperitif on Rooftop Terrace

Meet your professional local guide at a centrally located point in the historic center of Taormina - Porta Messina, and start your small group 2.5-hour sunset promenade, or like Italians say 'paseggiata.' You will walk the main street of Taormina – Corso Umberto - vibrant and lively, but still relaxed and romantic when the sun goes down. Walk from the ancient historic gates of Porta Messina to Porta Catania and see such important monuments like Palazzo Corvaja, the 2nd century Roman theatre Odeon, ancient Roman naumachia, old churches of San Pancrazio, Santa Caterina, San Giuseppe and other. Stop to admire a spectacular view of Mount Etna and the Ionian coastline opening from the terrace of Piazza IX Aprile, then continue to Piazza Duomo to see the main cathedral of Taormina and the symbol of the town – ancient fountain holding a centaur with a female head. From your friendly licensed local guide, who is truly in love with his home town, you will hear about the history and interesting facts of Taormina, learn about the influence of the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards presented at each step, each stone and in the everyday life of the town – its architecture, culture, cuisine, language and even the Sicilian mindset.  You will feel the unique atmosphere of Taormina at sunset, when its charming streets are lit with romantic lights, the air is full of beautiful scents of citrus and fresh seafood and local musicians perform live on the streets and squares. You will end your sunset tour on the terrace of one of the best restaurants in Taormina with a glass of Aperol spritz or wine accompanied with light appetizers, admiring the incredible view of Mount Etna and illuminated Ionian coastline.

Taormina: Audio Guide Sightseeing Tour on Your Smartphone

4. Taormina: Audio Guide Sightseeing Tour on Your Smartphone

The hilltop town of Taormina is the ideal place to get a sense of the rich blend of cultures that have made Sicily what it is today. From the arrival of the Greeks almost two and half thousand years ago, to the Romans, the Arabs and, eventually, the Spanish, each culture left their own discernible mark on this charming town overlooking Mount Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. On this walking tour, you’ll have an opportunity to see some of Taormina’s highlights, and to soak up the atmosphere of typical Sicilian life and find out why this little town has so much to offer. Our tour starts in the southern part of the town with magnificent views over Mount Etna and the sea below, at one of the entrances to the original ancient city, Porta Catania. You’ll follow the town’s pedestrianized main street, Corso Umberto, to another original entrance gate, Porta Messina, where our tour ends. On the way, I’ll tell you about the history, archaeology and customs that remain preserved in Taormina. Corso Umberto, with its stores and cafes, is also popular with shoppers and foodies. At the town’s most beautiful square, Piazza di Duomo, I’ll explain the significance of the statue of a female centaur gazing down from the top of the fountain (Fontana di Piazza Duomo), and tell you how Taormina came to adopt this as the town’s symbol. I’ll point out the ancient and well-preserved Duomo di Taormina, the main church, and show you how the cultures that intermingled over the centuries are reflected in this important monument’s architectural styles. On this tour, you’ll have a chance to: • Wander down Vicolo Stretto, the narrowest street in Taormina • Find out how to correctly order cannoli, a sweet Sicilian delicacy • Be treated to one of the most captivating panoramas in Sicily at Piazza IX Aprile • Hear about the building that was once a church and now is a shop where you can also have cooking lessons • Learn about Palazzo Corvaja, a palace that was built in the 10th century and still inhabited until relatively recent times • See layers of history at the Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, which was built upon the remains of a Roman theatre with an ancient Greek and Roman road beneath it • Soak up breathtaking panoramic views By the end of this tour, you’ll have a new appreciation for the heritage, art, and traditions of beautiful Taormina. You’ll also know how to recognize a 15th-century palace.

Top sights near Porta Catania

Other Sightseeing Options in Porta Catania

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What people are saying about Porta Catania

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 90 reviews

The tour was well organized. We were lucky to have Andrea as a tour guide - due to his studies and his work, he simply has enormous knowledge not only about Sicily but also about Etna, its history and the entire botany. just wow. The team took care of everything and there were good shoes and jackets for rent for spontaneous or forgetful people. The tour on foot is not strenuous, it only goes up a bit steeply and at the grotto there are a few mean steps. We were lucky to have great weather and therefore a great view. The lunch with a small antipasti platter, pasta and a small dessert as well as a great wine tasting should be mentioned, we would have expected much less here. Taormina is beautiful but of course enormously overcrowded so that it is a bit exhausting to enjoy the small beauties that are lost due to the crowds

We had a private tour for 2 couples and it was well worth it. Our driver/guide was very informative and professional and yet friendly. He arrived at pick up point at a timely manner. It was great experience to trek the slopes of Mt Etna, explored the small cave created by the lava. The lunch at a vineyard with wine tasting/pairing was fabulous. There was enough time given to spend at Taormina. Absolutely happy with this tour. Thank you Andrea and Etna Experience.

Very nice experience The guide was fantastic, a lot of information, respected all the participants, used 3 languages, the food at lunch, in a vineyard was sublime, in short we are delighted

Excellent organization. Our companions Alessandro and Marco were competent and available to our every need. I highly recommend the experience.

Excellent experience with competent, helpful and prepared guide