Taormina Italy – A Shopper’s Delight

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Taormino Corso Umberto, Sicily, ItalyTaormina is Sicily’s most famous resort, situated on the beautiful Ionian Sea on the northeastern coast of Sicily. Visitors come here for the weather, the culture, the food, the ambience and the shopping.

Corso Umberto is the primo shopping street beginning at Piazza Sant’ Antonio and ending at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.  It  is usually crowded with tourists who do not seem to mind the prices. There is no lack of variety in the shops along Corso Umberto and the items for sale range from regional hand-made ceramics to fine designer clothing to delicious dolci perfected in Sicily. Here is an idea of what you can find on a shopping day in Taormina.


Taormina has several shops which offer a wide variety of beautiful hand-painted ceramics from Caltagirone. Known as the Sicilian capital of ceramics, Caltagirone is less than two hours away. I have lingered in these shops on more than one occasion trying to decide from among the abundant selection. Although the prices are more than in Caltagirone, the ceramics are still a good buy compared to what I would have to pay in the States.

*Carlo Panarello is one of the recommended shops which sell hand-painted ceramics plus other things. You may even be able to watch the process in the workshop here, which is situated at Corso Umberto, 122.

*Giovanni di Blasi at Corso Umberto, 103 also offers ceramics of high quality from Caltagirone.

Taormina,Sicily, ItalyJewelry

If you are interested in jewelry, Taormina has unusual pieces of fine coral jewelry in brilliant colors of scarlet and pink.  A few of the shops offering quality jewelry here are:

*Kiseki Jewels at Corso Umberto, 55

*Sebastiano Rapisarda Gioielli at Corso Umberto, 74

*Monili di Guglielmetti Renata at Corso Umberto, 71

* Romano / Emilio at Corso Umberto, 75

There are shops selling marzipan in all shapes and almond wine called “vino alla mandorla,” which I had to buy. It is made in the nearby town of Castelmola.  In Taormina you can find local products not found elsewhere, such as items made from lava rock from Mount Etna which is Europe’s most active volcano and can be seen from Taormina. Some of these items include earrings, ashtrays and little pots shaped like volcanoes.

Clothing Boutiques

Clothing boutiques and shoe stores are plentiful featuring the latest haute couture from Italian designers. If you are looking for chic fashions from Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Gucci, Armani or Fornarina, you can find them on Corso Umberto. Some of the clothing boutiques lining this street include Parisi, Musumeci, Chien and Royal Blue.

Dolci from Caffe Wunderbar in Taormina Sicily, ItalyDolci and Pasticceria

Sicily has the best sweets and especially the cannoli which are my favorite. Here are a few places on or near Corso Umberto to stop during a shopping break for a wonderful treat.

*Bar Trinacria is located just off Corso Umberto and has a great selection of gelato as well as cannoli and other Sicilian pastries to die for. I have fond memories of a cannoli and cappuccino under an outdoor covered area while it was raining.

Caffe Wunderbar Taormina, Sicily, Italy*Caffè Wunderbar – One of the most famous places in Taormina to have a granita, cappuccino and cannoli among many other dolci. This is a must for anyone who has never been to Taormina.

*La Torinese is a deli that has been in Taormina for over 75 years and has a great selection of cheeses, wines, breads, grappas, sliced meats and pastries.

*Bar Pirandello on Via Pirandello is a great little place to stop in and have a Panini and of course a cannoli. Homemade cookies made from pistachios from nearby Bronte are sold in bags to take home, a nice feature.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas


Reaching Taormina’s Beaches by Cable Car

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

The beautiful Sicilian resort city of Taormina is perched high on a hill affording spectacular views of the Ionian Sea. Since its beaches are at sea level Taormina operates its cable car system, or funivia, to transport you there and back. 

I never rode a cable car until I took the ride in Taormina and the two minute trip was a great way to enjoy the panoramic vistas. This aerial tram is a very efficient way to travel between the historic center of Taormina and the beautiful beaches below.

Beautiful Ionian Sea, Taormina, Sicily, ItalyTaormina’s two beaches are the pebble beach of Mazzaro just below Taormina. The southernmost area of this beach is usually the most crowded especially during the high tourist season from May to October.

The other beach is on the small island called Isola Bella which means “beautiful island.” Isola Bella is a tiny island just offshore and it has its own beach which can be accessed at low tide by a narrow strip of sand connected to the mainland. Like most beaches in Italy this is a rocky beach but nevertheless attractive to sunbathers.

I have never been to this beach but when I stayed at the resort of CapoTaormina which is at the tip of a rocky point below Taormina, I was mesmerized by the views of Isolabella and the beautiful blues and greens of the sea here.

On Isola Bella there is the Nike Dive Center  which offers PADI dive courses and is conveniently located within a few minute boat ride from the dive sites. Caves, canyons and sunken Roman ship are just a few of the intriguing diving adventures offered.

The funivia consists of two sets of four cable cars traveling in both directions. As four are moving up toward the center of Taormina, the other four are descending at the same time. Up to 680 people can be transported every hour for the cost of seven euros round trip.

Cable Car Taormina, Sicily, ItalyEach cable car holds 12 people and the system operates every day of the year. Cars leave every 15 minutes and the operating hours are from 8 am to 1 am Tuesdays through Sundays and from 9 am to 1 am on Mondays.  Approximately 850,000 people a year use this cable car system in Taormina.

The summer months are very busy in this resort city and the traffic can be at a standstill at times. The cable car is a welcome option to reach the center of the city rather than driving and trying to find a parking spot.

Because of the cable car system staying in Taormina without a car is very doable as the majority of hotels are in the historic center of Taormina and the best way to see things is on foot. The cable car will transport you to the beaches and back plus provide one of the best views along this coastline.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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