Taormina Cathedral (Duomo) and Piazza del Duomo
Dedicated to San Nicolò di Bari, Taormina’s 13th-century Duomo looks more like a defensive fort than a church, with its crenellations and rough stone exterior. Often called the “cattedrale fortezza”, this fortress cathedral 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 may have been taken from the ruins of the Greek Theater. Taormina’s Cathedral and town hall sit on Piazza del Duomo, home to a Baroque fountain capped by a statue of a female centaur, the symbol of the city. Most Taormina walking or Segway sightseeing tours include a turn through Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral, two of the highlights of the historic center. You can visit Taormina—along with the nearby town of Castelmola and Mt. Etna—on a day trip or shore excursions from Syracuse, Messina, or Catania.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The square and Duomo are accessible to wheelchairs.
- Architecture enthusiasts will be especially fascinated by the Duomo’s unique fortress design.
- Most of Taormina’s sights are outdoors, so be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen when touring on foot.
- Modest clothing covering shoulders and knees are required to visit the Duomo.
How to Get There
Piazza del Duomo is located along the main Corso Umberto I in the heart of Taormina’s old town. The train station is beneath the town on the water’s edge, and buses run between the station and the hilltop center. Taormina is a popular day trip from the larger Sicilian towns of Messina, Syracuse, and Catania.
When to Get There
Taormina can be unpleasant to tour under the Sicilian sun during the hottest hours of the day in summer, so visit first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon.
Taormina’s Famous Greek Theater Shutterbugs and archaeology buffs alike enjoy visiting Taormina’s dazzling Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco), which is actually an ancient Roman amphitheater designed in the Greek style. Its setting high above the coast offers the area’s most photo-worthy views over Taormina and the Sicilian coastline, with Mt. Etna on the horizon.
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