Piazza IX Aprile
Piazza IX Aprile is one of the most photographed spots in Taormina, and it’s easy to understand why. This picturesque square is home to the faded pink stucco Chiesa di San Giuseppe; 15th-century Church of St. Augustine, now the city’s library; and the crenellated stone clock tower punctuated by an arched passage to the Borgo Medievale, one of Taormina’s oldest districts. In addition, a wrought-iron railing lines an entire side of the square, forming a panoramic terrace overlooking the dramatic coastline where locals and tourists alike gather to take in the view.
A stop in this splendid public space is a must when visiting Taormina’s old town, and is included in most walking and Segway tours along with the main Corso Umberto I, the 13th-century Duomo, and the spectacular Greek Theater. Taormina is a popular day trip or shore excursion from Catania, Messina, or Syracuse, and many also include visits to the nearby town of Castelmola or the volcanic peak of Mt. Etna.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You’ll want to bring your camera to capture the views from Piazza IX Aprile.
- Located along Taormina’s main road, the square is an ideal spot to catch your breath while souvenir shopping.
- There are a number of pastry and food shops near the square to sample the local specialties.
- The paved and flat expanse of the square is easy to navigate with a wheelchair or stroller. The square is pedestrian only.
- Be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen, as the square offers almost no shade.
How to Get There
Piazza IX is located along Corso Umberto I in the center of Taormina’s old town, and can be reached by bus from the train station in the valley below.
When to Get There
The square offers no shade and can be very hot during the day. Visit in the early morning or late afternoon for cooler temperatures and the best light to photograph the view.
The 9th of April Many streets and piazzas in Italy are named after important dates in Italian history, which is where the name Piazza IX Aprile comes in. Although Giuseppe Garibaldi, a leader in the unification efforts, didn’t actually land on Sicily until early May in 1860, a rumor spread through Taormina on April 9th that Garibaldi had landed at Marsala. The rumor may have been a month early, but the locals still preserve the news of that April date in the name of their main square.
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