Isola Bella,Italy

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Isola Bella is a small island just offshore from Taormina and is sometimes called “The Pearl of the Ionian Sea.” Its beauty can be appreciated from the hilltop historic center of Taormina and it can also be accessed from sea level by sun worshippers, divers and nature lovers.


In 1806 King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies gave the island of Isola Bella to Taormina as a gift. Later it was purchased by a who built a small house on the island. Additional owners came and went over the years and eventually in 1990 the last private owner filed for bankruptcy. Isola Bella was purchased that year by the Region of Sicily and belongs to the government.

Isola Bella ,Sicily, ItalyNature Preserve

Isola Bella is an uninhabited island in the Ionian Sea and has been established as a nature preserve since 1998. There are several bird species and lizards which call Isola Bella home. The Italian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature operates the nature preserve which is a favorite of bird watchers. Some of the species which can be found here are peregrine falcons, herring gulls, cormorants, kingfishers and grey herons.

There are also many species of exotic plants which have grown from the original plants brought here in the nineteenth century from Lady Trevelyan. The island is still an example of unspoiled beauty.

Cable cars Taormina, Sicily, ItalyGetting There

From Taormina there are two ways to reach Isola Bella. One is the cable car or funivia, which runs every 15 minutes and transports up to 680 people an hour for a cost of seven euros round trip. Located on Via Pirandello the cable car descends to the beach, Lido Mazzarò.

Once there if you turn right onto National Strada Statale you will have access to Isola Bella, just over 500 feet away across a narrow sandy strip which connects the island to the mainland.

For anyone wanting to get some exercise there is a path in the form of steps and lanes beginning at Via Pirandello near the “viewing area” of Isola Bella. This path will arrive near the entrance to Isola Bella.

Sunbathing, Diving and Snorkeling

Isola Bella attracts sunbathers to its small and rocky beach every summer as some prefer this tiny isolated area to larger beaches. The area is very attractive also to snorkelers and there is a Nike Dive Center on the island which teaches PADI style diving courses and features nearby dive sites of a deep canyon, an air cave, artillery remnants from WWII and the famous “Grotta Azzura” or Blue Cave.

This beautiful small island is well worth a visit if you have time in Taormina and a welcome respite from the crowds of tourists shopping on Corso Umberto.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas


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