As is the case with most small Italian towns, Taormina’s main street will lead you to the town’s main church. In Taormina, that means when you walk along the Corso Umberto, you will eventually arrive in the Piazza del Duomo and at the Duomo itself.
Taormina’s Duomo, dedicated to San Nicolò di Bari, was built in the 13th century and its design is typical of many churches of its era - the exterior more closely resembles a fortified castle than a house of worship. For this reason, it has the nickname of the “fortress cathedral,” or “cattedrale fortezza.”
The Duomo was built over the ruins of a small existing church, and some of the signature Taormina pink marble used in the construction of the columns appears to have been taken from the ruins of the Teatro Greco that sits above the town. The main door was rebuilt in the 1630s in the Renaissance style, and a rose window added in that same wall.
The piazza in front of the Duomo is, unsurprisingly, the Piazza del Duomo. The Baroque fountain at the center of the piazza is capped by a statue of a female centaur, which is Taormina’s symbol. Other buildings facing the piazza include Taormina’s town hall and a former palazzo turned hotel. The Duomo is open to visitors every day from 9am until 8pm.