Taormina monuments - Taormina historical buildings - Taormina Ancient Theater - Taormina Palazzo Corvaja - Taormina - travel links
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Taormina Guide Italy

Historical buildings and monuments

Getting there
History and culture

Churches and Museums
Historical buildings and monuments

Food and drink
Hotels and lodgings

La Dolce Vita

A special day
Isola Bella, the Alcantara River Park and Castelmola

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Historical buildings and monuments

The historical buildings and most attractive monuments in Taormina: ancient fortresses and aristocratic palaces:

  • Badia vecchia – an antique abbey, Badia Vecchia is a building that was built in the fourteenth century in Gothic style and which was recently recovered by the Taormina municipal council. Like Palazzo del Duca di Santo Stefano, the Badia looks like a fortress, an aspect that is even more accentuated by the battlements built on top of the building.
  • Palazzo del Duca Santo Stefano – A fourteenth century building in Gothic-Sicilian style with Arabic-Norman influences. The building, which looks much like a fortress, has three floors that are all decorated with splendid mullioned windows with two lights: the ground floor that is reached through an archway, the first floor, with its system of drawbridges and the second floor. It is now the headquarters of the Fondazione Mazzullo and has many Sicilian works of art housed inside it.
  • Palazzo Corvaja – The first part of this wonderful medieval palace was built by the Arabs during their period of rule. It was a cube-shaped tower that was used for defending the town. Later, Palazzo Crovaja, the seat of the Sicilian Parliament was added to the tower, that was extended over the years and after a period in which it was abandoned after the Second World War, the building was renovated and recovered, maintaining the characteristic mix of styles: Arabic (the tower), Norman (the fifteenth-century hall where the Parliamentary meeting were held), and Gothic (the shape of the façade windows).
  • Villa Comunale – Towards the end of the nineteenth century, this was the private garden of the English aristocrat Florence Trevelyan, a woman who was a botany and ornithology lover. The property was donated to the Taormina Municipal Council in the nineteen twenties, and Villa Comunale still has some rare plants and eccentric constructions known as “Victorian follies” that are similar to Chinese Pagodas, built according to the creative, original ideas of this aristocratic woman, in the garden.

The most interesting monuments, proof of the ancient cultures:

  • Ancient Theater – From this site, which is extremely valuable in architectural terms, there is a wonderful view of all the beautiful places surrounding Taormina: Etna, the Bay of Naxos, the crystal clear sea and Castelmola. The Theater, which is probably of Greek origin, was renovated and extended by the Romans: today it is one of the largest theaters in Sicily, second only to the one in Syracuse. This wonderful monument is now the seat of Taormina Arte, the International Film, Theater and Dance Festival.
  • Odeon – This was built by the Emperor Octavian and was only discovered at the end of the nineteenth century. It is a small theater built with clay bricks.
  • Naumachie – After the Ancient Theater, this is the oldest building in the city. This imposing wall, that dates back to the first century B.C., is about 130 meters long and has several niches that once held statues of the gods.

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