This is undoubtedly the most glamorous destination this summer, because Taormina is the chic essence of the real Sicily. A place where the sun and inner beauty are preserved for endless time and space in continuum history, nature and warm hospitality. Taormina, discovered after the Grand Tour of the Northern European aristocracy landed on this strip of land smelling of orange blossoms and lemons, is the quintessence of a happy marriage of different cultures.
Remained famous over the years thanks to Film Festival in Taormina , which brought to Sicily this year Harrison Ford, William Dafoe, Johnny Depp and Tony Servillo, among others, literally exploded with The White Lotus, an award-winning HBO production whose second season is set in the iconic San Domenico Palace in Taormina . former monastery from the 14th century, now completely rebuilt. A huge infinity pool, large Italian gardens designed by Italian landscape architect Marco Bay, a star-studded restaurant led by Chef Massimo Mantarro, this Four Seasons group resort is a gem of beauty in the heart of Sicily. A favorite place of nobility and bankers, the village is a picturesque open terrace on the shores of the Ionian Sea and located in Monte Tauro overlooking Mount Etna.
Addresses not to be missed
Walking down Corso Umberto 1, the city’s glamorous street overlooking noble palaces from different eras such as the Palazzo Corvaja, a sublime combination of Arabic, Norman and Gothic styles that features battlements, layered windows and shaded courtyards, you can go shopping. among the many craft workshops, where Caltagirone pottery and Moorish heads (today there are also stylish ones in a modern key) give way to flat caps and panamas. Among the many addresses opening a store Louis Vuitton in Taormina where to find the collection LV by the pool and the first cafe Louis Vuitton Cafe by Timeo, signed by the House in Italy, while paris (Corso Umberto, 1) e Musumechi (Corso Umberto, 220) are boutiques where you can find the most glamorous brands for him. There delicatessen shop, ca va sans dire, represents the gourmet side of Sicily between almond paste, typical liqueurs, marzipan and citrus jam. Passing by the Cathedral, which looks like a fortress, but inside which Byzantine, Renaissance and Baroque works are hidden, you can be inspired by the labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets from which pink bougainvilleas sprout, ancient, but at the same time unusual buildings, such as Jammona House (Via Giardinazzo), house-workshop of the painter Tino Giammon, now a must-see for its richly decorated façade and doors with typical Sicilian frescoes.
You turn the corner to enter the Bam bar, where Rosario, Saretto for all who gather friendship with stars and celebrities from all over the world, arranges the most spectacular granite in Sicily. Soft, dense, with hints of mulberry, pistachio, up to the classic lemon and coffee, all accompanied by a warm bun, they are a must in the hot Sicilian summer. So are the cannoli that Roberto Chemi, who proclaimed himself the Cannoli Wizard, prepares from a crispy waffle, currently stuffed with fresh ricotta with a pinch of cinnamon and a drop of liqueur.
The dazzling light of the sun reflects the remains of the Greek theater of Taormina, once the arena for gladiators and today for concerts of world stars, overlooking the Gulf of Mazzaro against the backdrop of the unmistakable silhouette of Etna, a mountain that grunts, that smokes and periodically pours out fire and lava , gulf of Giardini Naxos and this Strait of Messina. Indeed, the essence of Taormina can be summed up in a few words: balconies as far as the eye can see and priceless views.
Like the literary terrace of the Grand Timeo Hotel, the Belmond Hotel, the place where D. H. Lawrence wrote poetry and drew inspiration for Lady Chatterley’s lover and where to sip an Etna Spritz at sunset while admiring the park’s botanical garden, designed by English landscape architect and philanthropist Florence Trevelyan. The same Lady Florence who created what is now Public Gardens of Villa Comunaleonce the private park of the house where she lived, with exotic pavilions she called “hives(beehives), peek out among ancient trees, magnolias, pines and bougainvilleas.
Isola Bella, icon of Taormina
Of the many symbols of the city, one of the most striking, of course, isbeautiful island, enclosed between Capo Taormina and Capo Sant’Andrea and connected to the beach by a strip of pebbles. And here, the touch of Lady Florence, who bought it in 1860, made it immortal, creating a tropical and Mediterranean garden with plants from different parts of the world and building a small villa. Today, Isola Bella, whose name was coined by Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden, a German aristocrat who lived in Taormina in the second half of the 19th century and became famous for his bucolic photographs of naked men, is a real nature reserve, located in a sea of a thousand shades of blue.
Magical and starry nights
In the evening, the picture here becomes even more interesting. Fine dining is well represented at Batu, a new gourmet restaurant. belonging Grand Hotel San Pietro, whose name is inspired by the flowers of the olive tree, where you can enjoy the tasting route that runs along the edge olive harvestwhich combines the products of the earth and the unmistakable smell and aroma of olives, or a tasting menu called Luke, needle and thread which reflects all the creative flair of Chef Luca Miuccio, one of the 10 Sicilian taste ambassadors. Born as a wine bar in 2014, Osteria Santa Domenica is an immersion in the most authentic Sicily, with a menu created using only zero kilometer ingredients and slow food principles, where the Pastificio dell’Etna linguine with Bottarga red tuna is unforgettable. , Datterino, Basil on Interdonato Lemon Cream and, for wine lovers, over 350 wine labels. At night, Taormina vibrates even more between music, mixology and rooftops. Morgana is a real institution here. Every year, the exterior is redesigned, the interior is completely updated and the list of drinks, which for 2023 includes 6 signature cocktails with catchy color names, including Grand Tour red gin, Bulleit bourbon whiskey, ruby martini, bitter fusetti, raspberry, chili pepper. Beautiful people, live music and even a small indoor garden – the perfect place for summer evenings in Taormina. Instead, you have to cross the threshold of Taormina’s Palazzo Vecchio, a new boutique hotel with just 12 suites, to reach the Blue Sky Bar, a rooftop tower overlooking the sea of Taormina’s bay, suspended between blue skies. ideal for a romantic aperitif with high scenography.
Relax pied dans l’eau
If you really can’t resist the charm of the colorful Hotel dans l’eau, the Mazzarò Maritime Palace, part of VRetreats, and Leading hotels of the world, is understated and modern elegance, suites with terraces overlooking the blue, the Ionian Sea caressing a stylish private beach, and the taste of Dolce Vita aboard a boat exploring caves and moving away from the crowds. An exclusive atmosphere is also found in the Tao Beach Bar, which is located above the beaches of Galena and Nereya and is furnished with elegant cabanas. Here you can expect the sunset, lulled by relaxing music and great drinks.