Taormina, The Pearl of Sicily

Taormina is a small and vibrant Medieval town on the east coast of the island, in the province of Messina. It is situated on the rocks facing to Giardini Nexos Marina. Taormina is a well-known tourist attraction. With its alleys decorated with flowers, small, but stylish souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes with splendid view, and funicular railway connecting the city with the beach, you feel like visiting a museum when you travel in Taormina.

Taormina was named after Tauro Mountain. The Sicels, inhabitants of ancient Sicily, were the very first inhabitants of Taormina. New immigrants from Naxos Island arrived Taormina in 358 B.C. The city highly developed when Andromakhos, father of historian Timaios, took the control of the city. In 210 B.C., the Romans invaded the city and then the Byzantines took the control of Taormina. The city was totally destroyed by Arabs in 900, yet it was reconstructed in by Christians living in northern Sicily. When the city was taken by the Arabs led by al-Muizz  in 962, the city was renamed as “Al-Muizzia”. Under the reign of the Arabs, Taormina did not develop until it was taken by Normans in 1078.

Motor vehicles are not allowed in the main street of Taormina, that is why we got off the bus in the square and started to walk. There were orange groves in the midst of buildings, and flowers were hanging from the walls and balconies.

Stepped alleys, flowers on stairways and balconies with wrought iron makes the city much more beautiful.

We learnt from our guide that the population of Taormina is nonproportional. Only 30% of the population is constituted by men whom, mostly, are homosexual. For this reason, the men are very valued in the city. This occasion ended up with the popularization of magical love padlocks. Married women lock the padlock to somewhere and throw its key from a hill, so their love lasts forever.

The main landmarks of Taormina are Corvaja Palace, dating from Middle Age, Santo Stefano and Ciampoli Palace as well as the main cathedral.

Taormina is a very romantic city which is mostly preferred by couples on honey-moon.

Besides, Richard Burton proposed Elizabeth Taylor in a cafe located in Taormina. We went to that cafe and had our coffe while watching the splendid view. The best pastry going with a cup coffee is cannolo which is a Sicilian pastry dessert. It is a yummy and light dessert made of fried pastry dough and filled with cream.

After having the coffee, we visited Greek Theatre and cistern ruins, belonging to Greco-Romen and dating from 4.-3rd centuries, which were excavated in 1892. Ancient Theatre of Taormina is located on Tauro Mountain. It was reconstructed in Roman Period.

Taormina, which is visited by Italians mostly in winter season,  is a romantic city that definitely must be on your travel list.

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NURHAN YILMAZ

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NURHAN YILMAZ

1951 İstanbul doğumluyum. Yıl içinde dönüşümlü olarak Sinop, Bodrum ve İstanbul’da yaşamaktayım.Küçük yaşlarda babamın mesleği gereği, Türkiye’nin pek çok farklı şehirlerinde yaşadım.