Taormina Culture & history

Our most recommended Taormina Culture & history

Taormina: Ancient Theater Entry Ticket and Guided Tour

1. Taormina: Ancient Theater Entry Ticket and Guided Tour

Visit the Ancient Theater of Taormina with this guided tour and enjoy the added perk of skip-the-line entry privileges. Take a journey through the archaeological ruins and learn the history. Step back into the past with a visit to the Ancient Theater of Taormina. After the one of Syracusa, the Ancient Theater of Taormina is the largest building for shows in the Italian Peninsula. Learn about the Greek building that dates back to the 3rd-2nd century BCE. See how the Romans under Emperor Trajan and Hadrian changed the monument/ Discover the amphitheatre and orchestra, converted under Emperor Caracalla and hear tales of gladiator fights during this period.

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: Guided Historic City Tour

4. Taormina: Guided Historic City Tour

Taormina is certainly among the most beautiful and touristic places in all of Sicily. Your guided tour starts from the beautiful Ancient Theater (also called the Greek Theater), which is one of the most famous symbols of Taormina. It has been dug into the side of a mountain, and from here you can enjoy breathtaking views overlooking the Ionian Sea, with Mount Etna in the background. In Roman times it was renovated, and has reached a capacity of about 20,000 spectators. Today it is still used for concerts and cultural events. Your tour will then continue with a visit to the Naumachia (naval battle), a large red-brick monumental fountain, which is formed by a wall more than 100 meters long and 5 meters high. Afterwards, you will reach Roman Odeon, a small ancient theater, before moving on to Palazzo Corvaia. Built in a purely Gothic style, this is the most famous palace of Taormina. Your visit continues near the Catania Gate, with Palazzo Duchi di Santo Stefano, which was also also built in a Gothic style. You will then tour the Church of San Giuseppe, which boasts an impressive Baroque style. The tour will then end at the cathedral of Taormina, which was built in around 1400 A.D. on the ruins of a small Medieval church dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari.

From Catania or Taormina: Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Tour

5. From Catania or Taormina: Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Tour

Leaving from Catania or Taormina, the first stop of the tour will be Agrigento, known for its Valley of the Temples, one of the most striking archaeological areas of Italy, as well as the largest in the world, which contains within it an extraordinary monumental heritage and landscape. Inserted by UNESCO among the World Heritage Sites, in 1997, for the excellent state of conservation of the temples, the Archaeological Park houses within it the remains of eleven Greek temples, including the Temple of Concord, one of the best preserved in the world. Afterwards, you'll head to Piazza Armerina, a city located in the heart of Sicily, where you'll visit the famous Villa Romana del Casale, a site of great artistic and archaeological interest, dating back to the fourth century. Inside, you can admire the largest collection of Roman mosaics best preserved in the world, characterized by the depiction of mythological stories, hunting scenes, banquets, moments of daily life: real encyclopedias of antiquity.

Catania: Private Walking Tour with Arancini Tasting

6. Catania: Private Walking Tour with Arancini Tasting

Discover the beautiful architecture and ancient history of Catania on this guided tour. Visit the Ursino Castle and the Cathedral of Sant'Agata, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage.  Start your day with a pickup, meet your local guide, and set off to explore the sites of Catania. First, you will visit the fish market - the biggest and the most colorful fish market in Sicily. Next, walk to Ursino Castle and be sure to take photos. Continue to Via Etnea and visit one of the oldest and most famous rosticceria bars. Taste Sicilian arancini's - delicious rice balls stuffed with meat ragout and peas. Stroll along until your reach Duomo Square. See the Elephant Fountain and visit the famous Cathedral - the most important church in Catania with a statue of the city's patron saint, Sant'Agatha.  Finally, you will walk around Piazza Stesicoro and see the remains of an ancient Roman amphitheater.

Sicily: 7-Day Sicilian Culture and Art Tour

7. Sicily: 7-Day Sicilian Culture and Art Tour

Day 1 After getting picked up at Catania Airport, enjoy a welcome aperitif in the company of your local guide in Catania. Afterward, enjoy a walking tour of the city during which you will see iconic landmarks such as the Duomo Square, The cathedral fi Saint Agatha, Roman Amphitheatre, and Bellini Park. Day 2 Start your day with a light trek on Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna. After your trek, re-energize with a traditional Italian lunch at a family-run restaurant. You will also be able to sample some local wines from the Etna region. After lunch, enjoy some free time to explore the town of Taormina at your own pace before heading up to Castelmola, where you can sample the region's famous almond wine served with delicious biscuits. Finish the day by watching the breathtaking sunset in the village of Savoca, one of Italy's prettiest villages and the setting for the Godfather movie. Day 3 Today, enjoy a guided tour of the city of Syracuse, including a visit to the island of Ortigia. Here, admire landmarks such as the Cathedral of Saint Lucy, Caravaggio, Archimedes Square, and the Fountain of Aretusa. Afterward, move onto Neapolis Archaeological Park where you can admire the Latomie del Paradiso, Greek Theatre, Roman Amphitheatre, and  The Ear of Dionysius. Stop for lunch in the town of Noto, a baroque-style town with elegant churches and sprawling palaces. In the afternoon, enjoy a chocolate-making masterclass in the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily before heading to the picture-perfect town of Ragusa Ibla, where you will spend the night. Day 4 Start your day at the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, where one of the largest and richest collections of Roman mosaics in the world awaits you. Afterward, head to the Valley of Temples, where you will discover one of the greatest examples of Greater Greece's art and architecture. Enjoy some free time to explore this sprawling temple complex, with 7 ancient Greek temples. Day 5 In the morning, head to the coastal town of Marsala to sample the town's namesake wine. Learn how to differentiate this unique fortified wine by its amber color and unique scent. In the afternoon, head to the Trapani Salt Museum. Here, learn more about salt production methods in the area and admire a unique landscape dotted with over 100 mills, some of which are still in function. Finish the day with a stroll around the medieval town of Erice, a historic and charming town located in the Sicilian hills. Day 6 Today, you will be visiting the towns of Palermo and Monreale, both of which are famous for their Byzantine-style mosaics. In Palermo, visit the 12th-century cathedral and immerse yourself in the city's vibrant history and culture. In Monreale, admire the fine mosaics in the town's great Norman cathedral. Afterward, take in panoramic views of the surrounding valley, filled with orange, olive and almond trees. Day 7 Spend your last day in Sicily at the seaside town of Cefalu. Spend a few hours getting lost in a maze of tiny streets and ice-cream shops before heading Castelbuono, a picturesque village hidden in the Madonie Mountains. Get dropped off back at the airport at the end of your trip.

  • Guided tours
  • Private tours
  • Day trips
  • Multi-day trips

Frequently asked questions about Taormina

What top attractions are a must-see in Taormina?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Taormina?

The best day trips and excursions from Taormina are:

Mount Etna

Other Sightseeing Options in Taormina

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What people are saying about Taormina

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 431 reviews

It was a walk through the town of Taormina. Our guide really impressed us with her knowledge and the way in which she brought us closer to the history of the city and Sicily! It was a lot of fun! Thank you very much for this great experience @Maria-Luisa !!

Although you can walk around the theatre without a guide, you miss out on all the history and interesting perspectives about the theatre. Our guide was amazing!!! This tour was the highlight of our stay in Taomrina.

We had an excellent few hours with Antonella. She was very knowledgeable and interesting. Could have stayed in her company for many more hours. Thank you so much.

Marco was a fantastic guide, really knowledgeable and passionate about the history and culture of Taormina. He also knows where to get the absolute best cannoli!

Beautiful guided tour of the theater of Taormina. Very prepared guide in a dream location. Everything was perfect.