Taormina became an international renowned tourist resort for its beautiful scenery. When nearby Naxos was destroyed by Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, in 358 B.C., a group of survivors founded the Greek city called Tauromenion; the acropolis was at the summit of Mount Tauro and the agora where Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II is situated today. The town expanded considerably in Roman times, but in the last decades of the 1st century B.C. Octavian punished its inhabitants for helping Sextus Pompey, deporting them and reducing the town to the level of a colony. Taormina thus began to decline, until the Byzantines reserved its fortunes when they chose it as the capital of Sicily. The Arabs destroyed it twice, in 902 and 962, after which they partially rebuilt it. Under the Norman domination the town spread to the area known as the Borgo, and it developed further in the 13-15th century.
What else to visit: Castlemola, founded by the Sicels in the 8th c. BC and Giardini Naxos, the very first Greek colony in Sicily.