Taormina Roman Odeon
Likely used for small-scale vocal and literary performances for the city's elite, the marble-and-brick Roman Odeon was built in 21 BC under Roman emperor Caesar Augustus Octavian. Discovered by accident in the late 1800s, excavations eventually revealed an intimate venue built above a Greek temple. Visit this well-preserved theater with a guide as part of a Taormina walking tour that also takes in the famed Greek Theater (Teatro Greco). Day trips and shore excursions to Taormina generally depart from Syracuse, Messina, or Catania and are often combined with a wine tasting or visits to the nearby town of Castelmola and the peak of Mount Etna.
Things to know before you go
- The Roman Odeon is not accessible to wheelchairs.
- A tour of this ancient theater is particularly interesting for archaeology buffs.
- The site is outdoors, so be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen.
- Tours of Taormina and its ancient sites require a significant amount of walking, so comfortable shoes are recommended.
How to get there
The Roman Odeon is set in the heart of the hilltop historic center of Taormina, an easy walk from the Greek Theater and other local highlights. Taormina is a popular day trip from the larger Sicilian cities of Syracuse, Messina, and Catania.
When to get there
Temperatures soar at this open-air archaeological site at midday in summer, so visit first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon. During the Christmas holidays, the Odeon is used as the setting for a traditional nativity.
Taormina’s Roman “Greek” Theater
Taormina is best known for its spectacular Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco), a Roman amphitheater built in the 2nd century and named for its Greek-inspired design. Once seating over 5,000 spectators, the theater is the second-largest in Sicily and is still used to hold concerts and performances against the backdrop of the coastline and Mount Etna.
- Santa Caterina Church (Chiesa di Santa Caterina)
- Corso Umberto I
- Taormina Old Town (Centro Storico)
- Piazza IX Aprile
- Corvaja Palace (Palazzo Corvaja)
- Taormina Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco)
- Villa Comunale
- Taormina Cathedral (Duomo) and Piazza del Duomo
- Taormina Piazza Duomo
- Taormina Cable Car (Funivia)
- Mazzarò Beach (Lido Mazzarò)
- Taormina Cruise Port (Taormina Terminal Crociere)
- Alcantara Gorges (Gole dell'Alcantara)
- Circumetnea Railway (Ferrovia Circumetnea)