If you’re tired from all your sunbathing and sightseeing and you’re looking for a green space in Taormina where you can unwind a bit, look no further than the gardens of the Parco Duca di Cesarò - also known as the Villa Comunale.
The Villa Comunale isn’t necessarily the sort of park you’d expect in Sicily, since it’s something of an English garden, but it was the creation of a Scottish woman who lived in Taormina in the late 1800s. Lady Florence Trevelyan was asked to leave England in the 1880s after having a fairly public affair with the future King Edward VII. She eventually married a man in Taormina and began work on her gardens.
The design of the gardens at Villa Comunale may be English, but the plants Lady Trevelyan used were local. She died in 1907, but it wasn’t until 1922 that ownership of the property was transferred to the town of Taormina. Of particular note in the garden grounds is a building that includes a tower and gazebo-like covered areas. These are in the style known as “Victorian follies.”
The gardens of Villa Comunale are open every day from roughly 8:30am until 7pm, and they are free to enter. The entrance is on Via Bagnoli Croce, near Corso Umberto I.