Taormina Cathedral (Duomo) and Piazza del Duomo
Taormina is best known for its 2nd-century Greek Theatre, but this Sicilian city perched high above the eastern coastline of Sicily has a number of impressive historic attractions. One of the most important is the Cathedral (Duomo), set on a pretty square of the same name (Piazza del Duomo) along the main Corso Umberto I thoroughfare.
Dedicated to San Nicolò di Bari, Taormina’s 13th-century Duomo looks more like a defensive fort than a church, with its crenellations and rough stone exterior. Often called the “cattedrale fortezza”, this fortress cathedral was built over the ruins of a small existing church, and some of the signature Taormina pink marble used in the construction of the columns may have been taken from the ruins of the Greek Theater. Taormina’s Cathedral and town hall sit on Piazza del Duomo, home to a Baroque fountain capped by a statue of a female centaur, the symbol of the city. Most Taormina walking or Segway sightseeing tours include a turn through Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral, two of the highlights of the historic center. You can visit Taormina—along with the nearby town of Castelmola and Mt. Etna—on a day trip or shore excursions from Syracuse, Messina, or Catania.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The square and Duomo are accessible to wheelchairs.
- Architecture enthusiasts will be especially fascinated by the Duomo’s unique fortress design.
- Most of Taormina’s sights are outdoors, so be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen when touring on foot.
- Modest clothing covering shoulders and knees are required to visit the Duomo.
How to Get There
Piazza del Duomo is located along the main Corso Umberto I in the heart of Taormina’s old town. The train station is beneath the town on the water’s edge, and buses run between the station and the hilltop center. Taormina is a popular day trip from the larger Sicilian towns of Messina, Syracuse, and Catania.
When to Get There
Taormina can be unpleasant to tour under the Sicilian sun during the hottest hours of the day in summer, so visit first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon.
Taormina’s Famous Greek Theater
Shutterbugs and archaeology buffs alike enjoy visiting Taormina’s dazzling Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco), which is actually an ancient Roman amphitheater designed in the Greek style. Its setting high above the coast offers the area’s most photo-worthy views over Taormina and the Sicilian coastline, with Mt. Etna on the horizon.
- Taormina Old Town (Centro Storico)
- Piazza IX Aprile
- Corso Umberto I
- Santa Caterina Church (Chiesa di Santa Caterina)
- Taormina Roman Odeon
- Corvaja Palace (Palazzo Corvaja)
- Taormina Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco)
- Villa Comunale
- Taormina Cable Car (Funivia)
- Mazzarò Beach (Lido Mazzarò)
- Taormina Cruise Port (Taormina Terminal Crociere)
- Alcantara Gorges (Gole dell'Alcantara)
- Circumetnea Railway (Ferrovia Circumetnea)
- Mt. Etna (Monte Etna)