Taormina
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Taormina Culture & History

Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

1. Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

Pre-book your entry ticket to the Ancient Theater of Taormina and enjoy the added perk of skip-the-line entry privileges. Take a stirring journey through the archaeological ruins and enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace. After the one of Syracusa, the Ancient Theater of Taormina is the largest building for shows in the Italian Peninsula. The archaeological site offers the opportunity to step back into the past as well as enjoy the views of the surrounding landscapes. The Greek building, built in a dominant position, dates back, by layout, to the III-II century B.C., but the monument you can admire today appears in the forms acquired in the roman imperial age under the emperor Trajan or Hadrian. It becomes an amphitheater under the emperor Caracalla and, in the same period, the orchestra was converted into an arena to host gladiator fights. After centuries of neglect, in 1465, part of the monument was used as a palace of residence of the Zumbo family.

Taormina 5-Hour Tour in the Footsteps of The Godfather

2. Taormina 5-Hour Tour in the Footsteps of The Godfather

Join this fun and laid-back tour and experience some breathtaking scenery along with some hair-raising curves on the hills outside of Taormina. You’ll visit the towns of Savoca and Forza D'Agro on this 5-hour excursion. Relive some of the scenes from The Godfather. Sit in Marlon Brando's chair in the famous Bar Vitelli in Savoca. The bar, famous for its lemon granita, is still owned by the family who were there during the filming. See the interior of the church where Michael married his Apollonia! Walk down alleyways in Al Pacino's footsteps, as Michael and Apollonia did after the wedding. Nearby you’ll see Forza d'Agrò, an attractive medieval village dominated by a 16th-century castle overlooking the coast. The Church of Sant'Agostino features in the scene where Vito escapes to America, hotly pursued by Don Ciccio's men. This is definitely a trip down memory lane!

Messina: Godfather Private Tour with Optional Food and Wine

3. Messina: Godfather Private Tour with Optional Food and Wine

Enjoy the sights and tastes of Italy à la The Godfather in the company of a knowledgeable, English-speaking tour guide. Your guide will pick you up at your hotel or port at a time suitable to you before beginning your tour in Savoca, a medieval hilltop town where the fictitious Michael Corleone hid out during the "Going to the Mattresses" scene. In Savoca, you will stop at Bar Vitelli, which looks exactly as it did in the movie. At Bar Vitelli, you will be invited to take pictures with an authentic Sicilian shotgun, see pictures from The Godfather movie, enjoy the view from the square where the wedding scene was filmed and purchase souvenirs. The highlight, however, will be an optional tasting of Sicilian cannoli and lemon granita. Your next stop will be the church of Santa Lucia, where Michael and Apollonia got married. You will follow in the footsteps of the newlyweds down the hill into the town. Once in the town, you will visit another ancient church, dating back to the 13th century. Your guide will tell you about the filming processes involved in shooting The Godfather and some fun trivia about the movie, the director and the actors. With your guide, you will learn about the real history of the Sicilian mafia, how it rose and developed, how it was structured, and about the "Law of Silence", "Men of Respect" and the "Boss of the Bosses". After all this walking and learning, you will be taken to visit one of the best wine bars in Savoca where you can try excellent Sicilian wines and locally produced, traditional food including cheeses, salami, prosciutto, olives and homemade bread. During the tour in Savoca, you will also see the mirror monument dedicated to Coppola, on the panoramic terrace overlooking the Ionian coast, the site of Michael Corleone's wedding scene. Your tour will continue to Forza D'Agro, another stunning hilltop town. Your guide will lead you along abandoned streets towards the historic square where you will visit the churches Santissima Trinita and Santissima Annunziata. In Forza D'Agro, you will see the piazza where young Vita Andolini escaped from Don Ciccio's men and you will walk up to the remains of a 12th century Norman Castle to admire the panoramic view of the Ionian coastline.

Taormina: Half-Day Pizza Making Class

4. Taormina: Half-Day Pizza Making Class

Discover the secret to making an authentic Italian pizza at a half-day pizza making course in Taormina. Held in a pizzeria in the beautiful resort town, the class is led by a professional pizza maker, who will demonstrate how to prepare and bake a perfect pizza. Learn the basics of pizza preparation, following the simple advice and techniques demonstrated by your guide. Enjoy a hands-on experience as you discover how to make perfect pizza dough, get tips on what goes into a good pizza sauce, and hear how to have fun with pizza toppings. Learn the importance of a good wheat flour rich in gluten, water, and fresh yeast, discover how to stretch your dough, and how to transform it into something everyone will want to eat. Then, enjoy your pizzas for a complete meal that also includes mixed bruschetta, complimentary mineral water and soft drinks, and some local wine. Before you leave, your chef will present you with a pizza certificate to confirm that you are now a qualified pizza cook.

From Taormina: Sunset Experience on Mount Etna Upper Craters

5. From Taormina: Sunset Experience on Mount Etna Upper Craters

Begin your journey by boarding a coach with your friendly and knowledgeable tour leader. This will take you approximately 1900 meters (about 6233 feet) up Mount Etna, where you will then switch to jeeps in order to get within a safe proximity of the main crater area at 3000 (about 9840 feet) meters elevation. During your ascent, you’ll be escorted by licensed guides of the CAI - Italian Alpine Club.   Mount Etna is an active volcano on the east coast of Sicility, and the tallest active volcano in Europe, standing at 3,350 meters (about 10990 feet). It’s also one of the most active volcanoes in the world and in an almost constant state of activity since its first eruption about half a million years ago.   After reaching the highest authorized area, stop to experience a stunning sunset as the fading sun’s colors cover the volcano, the Valley of the Bove, and all of the expansive surroundings. Following the sunset, return by jeep to 1900 meters, at which point it will be time for a wonderful dinner at your expense in a local restaurant to finish off the evening.

From Catania: Guided Tour of Mount Etna and Taormina

6. From Catania: Guided Tour of Mount Etna and Taormina

Begin your Sicilian adventure with pickup from your hotel at 9 AM. Sit back and relax as you’re transported in comfort to a truly unique location, Mount Etna. Positioned above the convergent plate margin between the cities of Messina and Catania, Mount Etna is the highest-located active volcano in all of Europe. Learn about this fascinating volcano  from your expert guide, and explore its ancient craters and lava caves with helmets and torches. Then move on to explore Taormina at your leisure without a guide. Discover one of the most pristine areas of Sicily, celebrated for its stunning natural landscapes, marine beauty, baroque and medieval monuments, and its quaint Greek theater.

From Taormina: Etna Upper Craters Day Tour

7. From Taormina: Etna Upper Craters Day Tour

Explore the highest, active volcano in Europe on this day tour from Taormina. Travel by cable car and jeep to the top of Mount Etna with a local guide. After being picked up, relax as you are driven to visit the highest volcano in Europe with its smoking peak seen throughout Sicily. Drive to the Mount Etna Refuge with the opportunity for refreshments as you ready yourself for further ascent.  Climb higher by cable car up to 2,500 meters. Continue by jeeps up to the authorized upper crater zones with the assistance of licensed guides of the Italian Alpine Club. See the 4 distinct craters at the summit area and more than 300 vents on the flanks, ranging in size from small holes to large craters. Stop to admire the eventual activity of the summit craters in a safety zone according to weather conditions.

From Taormina: Lipari and Vulcano Mini Cruise Aeolian Tour

8. From Taormina: Lipari and Vulcano Mini Cruise Aeolian Tour

The Aeolian Islands are a fascinating volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. They are named after Aeolus, the demigod of the winds.  Lipari is the biggest, most populated Aeolian Island and has historically been the most significant. Lipari offers a grand archaeological museum housed in the buildings around the Duomo. Also impressive are the white shiny pumice quarries, which, overlooking the sea, give the water an amazing turquoise hue. Vulcano, which gives its name to all volcanoes, is particularly famous for its sulfurous mud baths and its smoking main crater. A man named Stevenson lived on Vulcano until the last major eruption in 1888. He never returned although his villa is still visible and intact. The tour departs from Taormina by bus to Milazzo harbour on the North coast of Sicily then continues by private boat to Lipari. In Lipari there is plenty of time to visit the old town center, to see the interesting archaeological park or simply shop for souvenirs. Guests then transfer by boat to the island of Vulcano for a second stop. Here there is the possibility to swim in the warm sulphureous seawater or enjoy the beach and have a delicious lunch (optional). On the way back, the tour follows the coastline to see the Faraglioni Rocks, the Horse Cave and the Mermaid's Rock.

Private Tour of the Three Best Etna Wineries w/ Tasting

9. Private Tour of the Three Best Etna Wineries w/ Tasting

Your personal guide will pick you up from your hotel/ port and you will start your wonderful private tour around the top Etna wineries. Driving by comfortable, air-conditioned car through the small authentic mountain villages, you will admire unforgettable picturesque views of the Sicilian countryside full of oranges and lemon plantations, olives and almond trees, houses and churches built of lava stone. The Mount Etna eruptions feed the soil, and that is why this region is considered to be one of the best in the world for growing grapes and wine production. You will visit the three best wineries at the Etna slopes. Wines from these wineries are on the top lists of premium international wine associations.  The first venue will be a family-run winery, world-famous for its outstanding wines. Here, you will be welcomed by the owner with a glass of an awesome white wine aperitif. Sipping refreshing wine, you will have a guided tour around the estate, after which you will visit the cellars where the owner or your private sommelier will explain to you the wine production process. Finally, you will sit at a wonderful terrace with a breathtaking view of mountains and Ionian coastline, and with your personal sommelier, start your food and wine tasting. You will taste 4 or 5 excellent white, red and rose Etna D.O.C. wines with locally produced cheeses, salami, prosciutto, sausages, couscous, vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, domestic olive oil and fresh homemade bread. Enjoy the panoramic view and the unique atmosphere of the Sicilian countryside. You will be driven to the second venue – another outstanding Etna winery, where the owner will give you a tour around the estate. With a professional sommelier, you will taste 4 brilliant red, rose and white wines of the region.  You will continue the tour driving to the next venue, an ancient family run winery with authentic charm. After your guided visit to the cellars, you will taste 3 premium red and white wines accompanied by fresh domestic appetizers: locally produced cheeses, meat delicacies, olives, olive oil and fresh bread.  After the tour, your personal guide will bring you back to your accommodation.

From Taormina: The Godfather Movie Tour of Sicily Villages

10. From Taormina: The Godfather Movie Tour of Sicily Villages

Depart from Taormina to visit the Sicilian hill towns of Savoca and Forza D’Agrò. Explore the sets of the popular movie The Godfather. See the famous Bar Vitelli and wedding venue, among other places you’ll recognize from the films. Hear stories about the movies and Sicily from a local guide. Enjoy a scenic drive through the countryside. Take a pleasant stroll in the villages. Easily find filming locations of the movie. Visit the Trimarchi building, the venue for the famous Bar Vitelli. Then, see the location of the wedding shoot, the Church of Santa Lucia. Learn about tales behind the great film, and the equally captivating history of the island that inspired this masterpiece by Francis Ford Coppola. Many scenes of village life were filmed on the cobblestone streets and traditional houses of Forzà d'Agrò. Explore SS. Annunziata Square, Church of SS. Annunziata, and the birthplace of Vito Corleone. Admire the charm of the Sicilian countryside in this amazing place, nestled between the provinces of Messina and Catania.

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What people are saying about Taormina

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 431 reviews

Great trip, knowledgeable guide, lots of good information. Interesting and easy walk. Fantastic scenery. Lovely lunch and unexpected wine tasting (great wine). Only about 90 mins in Taormina, but long enough to browse the shops and visit Greek theatre. Brilliant day. (Just for information, my wife is asthmatic and we thought long and hard about which Etna tour to take, due to some of the warnings about asthmatics going up Etna, this tour was fine and posed no issues for my wife) Brilliant day thanks

Very nice tour from Rosario, a local guide from Taormina. He shared so much with us, not only about The Godfather filming locations (which were awesome!), but also about Sicily’s culture. He also shared some great restaurant recommendations in Taormina with us which were spot on! Lastly, he was very friendly and thoughtful about our needs. Excellent tour and fantastic guide!

The guide was fabulous; passionate about his work with excellent knowledge and extremely professional. Full of energy, very good English and explanations were simple and comprehensive. The tour itself was well programmed, wine tasting and lunch was delicious. Worth every penny!

It was well organised, the guide told us all of needed information - she spoke English, German and Italian! Local people guided us on the Etna, the tour was quite individual but it was too short, it would be better for have more time on the mountain

Shocking views of mount etna. The day was filled with activities of all kinds. The guide didn’t let us wait long and have nothing to do. There was great communication with the team. I would totally recommend it.