The east-coast town of Taormina has a bit of a split personality. The upper part of town is all glitz and glam, with designer boutiques lining cobbled streets and a fantastic restaurant scene. Up here is where you’ll find the majority of Taormina’s sights – medieval churches, centuries-old towers and the well-preserved Greek amphitheatre. The Corso Umberto I is the centre of activity, with a myriad of small streets and alleyways threading off the main thoroughfare.
A cable car links the upper town with Taormina Mare, where you’ll find a handful of bars, shops and restaurants, plus a shingle beach. Across the Gulf of Naxos is Mount Etna – a trip to this towering volcano is a must while you’re in Sicily, although you’ll be able to enjoy standout views of it from all over Taormina.
Flight time from the UK to Sicily is around 3 hours.
Transfer time from Catania airport to Taormina is approximately 1 hour.
Sicily’s climate is classically Mediterranean, but since the island is surprisingly close to Africa, things really heat up here in summer. The hot, dry weather begins in earnest around June, peaking in the high 20s around July and August. It barely gets cold in Sicily; winters are warm and rainy, while spring’s pleasant mid-teen average is good for walking and cycling, but not quite beach weather.
British citizens do not currently require a visa to visit Italy.
When you dine out in Italy, you will generally be charged a coperto (cover charge), which is for the bread, tablecloth, cutlery, etc. Tipping in Italy is not customary, but is always appreciated.
The official language of Italy is Italian. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.