Taormina: an open-air dream for all

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I visited Taormina at the end of December last year and felt the need to go back again in March and May, as if the first bite had laid bare a voracious craving for more.

the first bite laid bare a voracious craving for more

Like very few other destinations in Italy, Taormina became a Grand Tour icon for writers, artists and companions in the 19th century but thousands of years earlier its talent did not go unseen by the Greeks who established there one of their most favorable colonies.

buffet breakfast

Some credit for its modern popularity is owed to Berliner painter Otto Geleng whose unbridled vein and infatuation for Taormina finished with revealing to human nature a mind-boggling spot of this world.

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Today’s Taormina is very different compared to what the first international traveler must have seen when climbing windy roads up to its top. I tend to think that Taormina changed for the better while retaining its unmistakable atmosphere.


Most rewards are due to the “art of hospitality” in which Villa Carlotta and Villa Ducale are prime ambassadors in the Taorminese scenery.

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It is hard to tell which of the two enjoys a better view over Mount Etna and the Mediterranean Sea. What is very easy to feel, indeed, is the warmth and friendliness stepping in their cozy parlors.

Cafe Britt

_DSC5514Villa Ducale makes you want to have tea or read a book sitting on its colorful couches as soon as sight perceive ceramics, lightings and woods – few seconds to breathe in elegance and be lured by the surrounding multidimensional coziness.

Perched on the hilltop Villa Carlotta can give you the most sumptuous feeling of all with its undisturbed ocean views, supreme delicacies – from breakfasts till dinner – and astonishing marble bathrooms with volcanic lava inserts.


Boutique is too common to define such properties and charming is not close enough to the feeling of a stay in the Villas; take the top-notch 100% Sicilian cuisine and the extremely pleasant manners of all – from valet to owners – to understand why perfection is the most recurrent attribute – not the only one though – that sparks with regards to the establishments.

If Taormina is Sicily at its “most” then Villa Ducale and Villa Carlotta are Sicilian hospitality at its best.

Should the above just not be enough to start dreaming of your next Sicilian vacations then think that you could taste some of the most earthy and authentic growers’ wines on Etna slopes, drive along the beautiful coastline to Catania and the Baroque Valley, rave after Ortigia’s alleys and its “immense” Piazza Duomo in Siracuse and visit hidden beauties of Savoca and Montalbano.


All within range from Villa Ducale, Villa Carlotta and the magic of Taormina.

Zest of Italy recommends a stop at Pasticceria Minotauro for the best cannoli in town and Osteria Rosso Divino for a sea food pasta dish and a good glass of wine.

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