The hilltop town of Taormina is best known for its gorgeous beaches, lively beach resorts, and magnificent views of Mt. Etna. Yet the Sicilian resort town is also home to some of the island’s most impressive archaeological sites. Here are a few must-sees to add to your Taormina itinerary.
Greek Theatre of Taormina (Teatro Greco)
Perched high on the cliff-tops, the Greek Theater, or Ancient Theater of Taormina (Teatro Antico di Taormina), is as notable for its dramatic views along the Ionian Sea coast as it is for its well-preserved ruins. The ancient Greek amphitheater was built in the third century BC and boasts a fascinating history: built by the ancient Greeks, used for gladiator games by the Romans, and used as a venue for opera performances and music concerts today.
Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus Octavian built the Odeon, which is similar in style to the Teatro Greco, although much smaller. Located behind the Palazzo Corvaja along the Corso Umberto, the ancient ruins make a popular photo stop on walking tours of Taormina.
Porta Catania and Porta Messina
The last remnants of Taormina’s ancient fortification walls, the historic city gates of Porta Catania and Porta Messina remain two of the city’s most prominent landmarks. Restored in the 15th century and 19th century, respectively, you can admire the gates on walking or sightseeing tours of Taormina.