Taormina is a coastal city located in the metropolitan city of Messina, in Sicily. Its territory overlooks the Ionian Sea and extends along the coast from Capo Sant’Andrea to Capo Taormina, where there are beaches of significant tourist importance such as Mazzarò, Lido di Taormina and Isola Bella.
Taormina was inhabited since the archaic era, by the Sicilians and the inhabitants of “Zancle”; in 403 BC it was the scene of further immigration from nearby Naxos, destroyed by Dionisio, tyrant of Syracuse. Later it was occupied by the Greeks, but in 34 a. C., became a federated city of the Romans and Octavian founded a colony there.
In the Middle Ages it underwent the Arab denominations but in 1079 it was occupied by the Normans, who built numerous Basilian monasteries in the area.
The Normans, just landed, found themselves faced with the problem of healing the terrible wounds of the war. In this task they were excellent, proving to be one of the most enlightened dynasties of the time, starting a new era of prosperity for Sicily.
The local population actively participated in the Vespers War, supporting the Aragonese contender; in 1734 it was subjected to the domination of the Bourbons which ended only with the Expedition of the Thousand.
The Garibaldians arrived in Taormina on August 3, 1860, under the command of Nino Bixio, who slept in the house of Baron Giovanni Platania; also in the autumn of the same year, Sicily was annexed to Piedmont and therefore, to the Kingdom of Italy.
The economy of the town is mainly linked to tourism, both seaside and cultural; therefore it is active all year round. Traditional activities, agriculture and fishing, are accompanied by the presence of industry, which still represents a good source of income.
The typical gastronomy of Taormina is very varied, but the best specialties are based on fish; some of these are: the typical pasta with swordfish, linguine with lobster and sea urchins, mixed grills and fish soups, turbot fillet with black truffle and herbs, with asparagus tips.
The desserts in Taormina are special, the most renowned are: gianduia and coffee profitterols and almond and pistachio semifreddo. The characteristic almond wine is also excellent, to try! The town is full of events such as the Sicilian Cart Festival, the Festa della Madonna della Rocca, the evocative rites of Holy Week and Piazza Jazz: a musical event held in Piazza Armerina.
Some events are of the highest quality, such as the Taormina Arte Festival or a cultural institution that takes care of the organization of the music, theater and dance festival; takes place between July and August. The Taormina Film Fest and the International Book Festival are also very important, which hosts prestigious internationally renowned authors, cultural meetings, art exhibitions; is held in the Ancient Theater.