Visit Taormina - Naxos - Castelmola
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.
Giardini Naxos, beach resort near Taormina on the east coast, overlooking the Ionian Sea. Capo Schisò, an ancient lava formation, stretches out into the bay and id the site of Naxos, colonised by Greeks during the first half of the 8th century B.C. The Syracusans occupied and destroyed it three centuries later. The best parts of the ruins are long stretches of wall made of huge roughly hewn blocks, an enclosure surrounding a great sanctuary, a temple probably dedicated to Aphrodite, and two furnaces: a rectangular tile kiln and round pottery furnace.
Castelmola, the town is part of a circuit for the most beautiful cities of Italy. Founded by the Sicels in the 8th century B.C. it was destroyed, together with Taormina, by Dionysius in 392 B.C. and again by the Arabs in 902. The Castle, or what remains of it, stands on a good strategic position, protecting the little town and the surrounding countryside; it was built in the Middle Ages and considerably altered in the 16th century.
On request we can offer guided tour in English, transport and meals. It is also possible to combine the visits of several destinations.