Churches and Museums
The most charming
churches in Taormina: Gothic style with Arabic influence:
(Church of San Nicola)
This was built around 1400 on the ruins of an ancient church. The
Gothic style makes the Cathedral looks similar to a fortress. The
structure is a Latin cross with a nave and two aisles. The ceiling
has wooden beams that are carved in Arabic style. Church of San
Pancrazio – This church stands on the ruins of a Greek temple.
of San Pancrazio
The church dedicated to the patron saint of Taormina was built around
the middle of the sixteenth century. The interior is filled with
multi-colored marble and Taormina stone, and contains a fantastic
fresco depicting the martyrdom of San Pancrazio. This beautiful
church is often closed to the public.
An antique abbey, Badia Vecchia is a building that was built in
the fourteenth century in Gothic style and which was recently recovered
by the Taormina municipal council. Like Palazzo del Duca di Santo
Stefano, the Badia is noteworthy for its strange fortress-look,
that is emphasised even more by the battlements built on top of
del Duca Santo Stefano
A fourteenth century building in Gothic-Sicilian style with Arabic-Norman
influences. The building, which looks much like a fortress, has
three floors that are all decorated with splendid mullioned windows
with two lights: the ground floor that is reached through an archway,
the first floor, with its system of drawbridges and the second floor.
It is now the headquarters of Fondazione Mazzullo and houses many
Sicilian works of art inside.
The first part of this wonderful medieval palace was built by the
Arabs during their period of rule. It was a cube-shaped tower that
was used for defending the town. Later, Palazzo Crovaja, the seat
of the Sicilian Parliament was added to the tower, that was extended
over the years and after a period in which it was abandoned after
the Second World War, the building was renovated and recovered,
maintaining the characteristic mix of styles: Arabic (the tower),
Norman (the fifteenth-century hall where the Parliamentary meeting
were held), and Gothic (the shape of the façade windows).
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, this was the private
garden of the English aristocrat Florence Trevelyan, a woman who
was a botany and ornithology lover. The property was donated to
the Taormina Municipal Council in the nineteen twenties, and Villa
Comunale still has some rare plants and eccentric constructions
known as “Victorian follies” that are similar to Chinese
Pagodas, built according to the creative, original ideas of this
aristocratic woman, in the garden.
best ancient monuments in Taormina, heritage of the Greek-Roman
From this site, which is extremely valuable in architectural terms,
there is a wonderful view of all the beautiful places surrounding
Taormina: Etna, the Bay of Naxos, the crystal clear sea and Castelmola.
The Theater, which is probably of Greek origin, was renovated and
extended by the Romans: today it is one of the largest theaters
in Sicily, second only to the one in Syracuse. This wonderful monument
is now the seat of Taormina Arte, the International Film, Theater
and Dance Festival.
This was built by Emperor Octavian and was only discovered at the
end of the nineteenth century. It is a small theater built with
After the Ancient Theater, this is the oldest building in the city.
This imposing wall, that dates back to the first century B.C., is
about 130 meters long and has several niches that once held statues
of the gods.
The most interesting
museums in Taormina to learn about the cultural traditions of this
This museum is housed in the Badia Vecchia, and contains some archaeological
findings that were found extremely recently, between 1984 and 1998.
The exhibition route is divided between two floors and includes
objects such as sculptures, ceramics, artifacts from the Ancient
Theater, earthenware, an alabaster urn and a Byzantine sword found
on the sea bed near Isola Bella.
This is a small exhibition kept in the house of the ancient theater’s
guardian. There are not many archaeological findings in the Antiquarium
as most of the objects found during the digs were transferred to
museums in Naples, Syracuse and Messina. Some of the most notable
objects are some marble statue bases with ancient inscriptions,
carved pillars and a marble sarcophagus.
Museum of art and folk traditions
Housed in Palazzo Corvaja, this Museum exhibits some figurative
art and some examples of Sicilian craftsmen’s art created
in the period from the 16th to the 20th century. The exhibits included
wooden sculptures, ceramics, Sicilian carts, and posters of puppet
all properties to rent in Taormina