Taormina
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Taormina Culture & History

Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

1. Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

Pre-book your entry ticket to the Ancient Theater of Taormina and enjoy the added perk of skip-the-line entry privileges. Take a stirring journey through the archaeological ruins and enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace. After the one of Syracusa, the Ancient Theater of Taormina is the largest building for shows in the Italian Peninsula. The archaeological site offers the opportunity to step back into the past as well as enjoy the views of the surrounding landscapes. The Greek building, built in a dominant position, dates back, by layout, to the III-II century B.C., but the monument you can admire today appears in the forms acquired in the roman imperial age under the emperor Trajan or Hadrian. It becomes an amphitheater under the emperor Caracalla and, in the same period, the orchestra was converted into an arena to host gladiator fights. After centuries of neglect, in 1465, part of the monument was used as a palace of residence of the Zumbo family.

Taormina 5-Hour Tour in the Footsteps of The Godfather

2. Taormina 5-Hour Tour in the Footsteps of The Godfather

Join this fun and laid-back tour and experience some breathtaking scenery along with some hair-raising curves on the hills outside of Taormina. You’ll visit the towns of Savoca and Forza D'Agro on this 5-hour excursion. Relive some of the scenes from The Godfather. Sit in Marlon Brando's chair in the famous Bar Vitelli in Savoca. The bar, famous for its lemon granita, is still owned by the family who were there during the filming. See the interior of the church where Michael married his Apollonia! Walk down alleyways in Al Pacino's footsteps, as Michael and Apollonia did after the wedding. Nearby you’ll see Forza d'Agrò, an attractive medieval village dominated by a 16th-century castle overlooking the coast. The Church of Sant'Agostino features in the scene where Vito escapes to America, hotly pursued by Don Ciccio's men. This is definitely a trip down memory lane!

Taormina: Half-Day Pizza Making Class

3. Taormina: Half-Day Pizza Making Class

Discover the secret to making an authentic Italian pizza at a half-day pizza making course in Taormina. Held in a pizzeria in the beautiful resort town, the class is led by a professional pizza maker, who will demonstrate how to prepare and bake a perfect pizza. Learn the basics of pizza preparation, following the simple advice and techniques demonstrated by your guide. Enjoy a hands-on experience as you discover how to make perfect pizza dough, get tips on what goes into a good pizza sauce, and hear how to have fun with pizza toppings. Learn the importance of a good wheat flour rich in gluten, water, and fresh yeast, discover how to stretch your dough, and how to transform it into something everyone will want to eat. Then, enjoy your pizzas for a complete meal that also includes mixed bruschetta, complimentary mineral water and soft drinks, and some local wine. Before you leave, your chef will present you with a pizza certificate to confirm that you are now a qualified pizza cook.

From Taormina: Sunset Experience on Mount Etna Upper Craters

4. From Taormina: Sunset Experience on Mount Etna Upper Craters

Begin your journey by boarding a coach with your friendly and knowledgeable tour leader. This will take you approximately 1900 meters (about 6233 feet) up Mount Etna, where you will then switch to jeeps in order to get within a safe proximity of the main crater area at 3000 (about 9840 feet) meters elevation. During your ascent, you’ll be escorted by licensed guides of the CAI - Italian Alpine Club.   Mount Etna is an active volcano on the east coast of Sicility, and the tallest active volcano in Europe, standing at 3,350 meters (about 10990 feet). It’s also one of the most active volcanoes in the world and in an almost constant state of activity since its first eruption about half a million years ago.   After reaching the highest authorized area, stop to experience a stunning sunset as the fading sun’s colors cover the volcano, the Valley of the Bove, and all of the expansive surroundings. Following the sunset, return by jeep to 1900 meters, at which point it will be time for a wonderful dinner at your expense in a local restaurant to finish off the evening.

Cefalù: Sicilian Gems Mount Etna (to 1900) Meters & Taormina

5. Cefalù: Sicilian Gems Mount Etna (to 1900) Meters & Taormina

Taormina town lies upon a hill (Monte Tauro) at 206 meters above sea level. This beautiful terrace, suspended between land and sea with Mount Etna behind it and thanks to the natural frame with its contrasts, monuments, beautiful alleys and cultural events hosted, attracts many tourists from all over the world. Dating back as far as 358 B.C., it is home to some of the most well-preserved buildings, medieval courtyards and historic landmarks in this corner of the world. Sip a cappuccino in the Piazza IX Aprile, browse the chic boutiques or check out the town’s star attraction – its ancient Greco-Roman theatre. Then, climb up to 1900 meters on Mount Etna, the most important Volcano in Europe and enjoy the peculiar lava landscape. Before you know it, you're standing on the pulsing and flaming heart of the island - Mount Etna.

Taormina: Sicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour

6. Taormina: Sicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour

Spend a morning in Taormina learning how to cook delicious Sicilian food from a professional chef. At the end of the class, participants enjoy the lunch they created along with wine. Meeting at 10:00 AM at the Arch of Porta Messina, the activity starts with a guided tour of the market of Taormina. Shopping for fresh ingredients, the group will enjoy learning about the local produce and take part in a small tasting of salamis and cheeses. Back at the restaurant the chef will explain the recipes in program while guests take a break for coffee. The preparation and the cooking of the food will then start, with the making of hand-made pasta a highlight. Once the dishes are prepared, everybody is invited to the table for the typical local lunch with accompanying wines. Afterwards, each participant will receive a certificate and an autographed apron as a souvenir of this special day.  

Taormina: Roundtrip Transfer from Messina

7. Taormina: Roundtrip Transfer from Messina

Take advantage of an afternoon cruise stop in Messina and travel along the beautiful Sicilian coast to enjoy 3 hours exploring Taormina at your own leisure. Perfect for those who want the convenience of a round-trip transfer with the independence to explore the city at their own pace, this service provides pickup near the marina on Via Battisti and takes guests on a 1 hour and 15 minute journey to Taormina.

From Taormina: Etna Upper Craters Day Tour

8. From Taormina: Etna Upper Craters Day Tour

Explore the highest, active volcano in Europe on this day tour from Taormina. Travel by cable car and jeep to the top of Mount Etna with a local guide. After being picked up, relax as you are driven to visit the highest volcano in Europe with its smoking peak seen throughout Sicily. Drive to the Mount Etna Refuge with the opportunity for refreshments as you ready yourself for further ascent.  Climb higher by cable car up to 2,500 meters. Continue by jeeps up to the authorized upper crater zones with the assistance of licensed guides of the Italian Alpine Club. See the 4 distinct craters at the summit area and more than 300 vents on the flanks, ranging in size from small holes to large craters. Stop to admire the eventual activity of the summit craters in a safety zone according to weather conditions.

From Catania: Guided Tour of Mount Etna and Taormina

9. From Catania: Guided Tour of Mount Etna and Taormina

Begin your Sicilian adventure with pickup from your hotel at 9 AM. Sit back and relax as you’re transported in comfort to a truly unique location, Mount Etna. Positioned above the convergent plate margin between the cities of Messina and Catania, Mount Etna is the highest-located active volcano in all of Europe. Learn about this fascinating volcano  from your expert guide, and explore its ancient craters and lava caves with helmets and torches. Then move on to explore Taormina at your leisure without a guide. Discover one of the most pristine areas of Sicily, celebrated for its stunning natural landscapes, marine beauty, baroque and medieval monuments, and its quaint Greek theater.

From Taormina: Lipari and Vulcano Mini Cruise Aeolian Tour

10. From Taormina: Lipari and Vulcano Mini Cruise Aeolian Tour

The Aeolian Islands are a fascinating volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. They are named after Aeolus, the demigod of the winds.  Lipari is the biggest, most populated Aeolian Island and has historically been the most significant. Lipari offers a grand archaeological museum housed in the buildings around the Duomo. Also impressive are the white shiny pumice quarries, which, overlooking the sea, give the water an amazing turquoise hue. Vulcano, which gives its name to all volcanoes, is particularly famous for its sulfurous mud baths and its smoking main crater. A man named Stevenson lived on Vulcano until the last major eruption in 1888. He never returned although his villa is still visible and intact. The tour departs from Taormina by bus to Milazzo harbour on the North coast of Sicily then continues by private boat to Lipari. In Lipari there is plenty of time to visit the old town center, to see the interesting archaeological park or simply shop for souvenirs. Guests then transfer by boat to the island of Vulcano for a second stop. Here there is the possibility to swim in the warm sulphureous seawater or enjoy the beach and have a delicious lunch (optional). On the way back, the tour follows the coastline to see the Faraglioni Rocks, the Horse Cave and the Mermaid's Rock.

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What people are saying about Taormina

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 431 reviews

Great trip, knowledgeable guide, lots of good information. Interesting and easy walk. Fantastic scenery. Lovely lunch and unexpected wine tasting (great wine). Only about 90 mins in Taormina, but long enough to browse the shops and visit Greek theatre. Brilliant day. (Just for information, my wife is asthmatic and we thought long and hard about which Etna tour to take, due to some of the warnings about asthmatics going up Etna, this tour was fine and posed no issues for my wife) Brilliant day thanks

Very nice tour from Rosario, a local guide from Taormina. He shared so much with us, not only about The Godfather filming locations (which were awesome!), but also about Sicily’s culture. He also shared some great restaurant recommendations in Taormina with us which were spot on! Lastly, he was very friendly and thoughtful about our needs. Excellent tour and fantastic guide!

The guide was fabulous; passionate about his work with excellent knowledge and extremely professional. Full of energy, very good English and explanations were simple and comprehensive. The tour itself was well programmed, wine tasting and lunch was delicious. Worth every penny!

It was well organised, the guide told us all of needed information - she spoke English, German and Italian! Local people guided us on the Etna, the tour was quite individual but it was too short, it would be better for have more time on the mountain

Shocking views of mount etna. The day was filled with activities of all kinds. The guide didn’t let us wait long and have nothing to do. There was great communication with the team. I would totally recommend it.