3 days in Taormina
3 days in Taormina. May’s was one of the months I traveled (and I’m still traveling) a lot. After visiting several places abroad, including some that I dreamed to see from all my life (and that I loved), I finally travelled in my beautiful Italy. How much I missed it! The first trip was with Belmond in Sicily, to Taormina, and below you can read all the details and my tips for traveling there!
3 days in Taormina: what to stay, where to sleep and eat
How to reach Taormina. To make the most of the time we had there, we chose flights departing early in the morning and returning late at night. So we flew from Turin to Catania with the only airline that offered this type of solution, BlueAir. Once arrived at destination, we found a super kind Belmond driver who took us to Taormina in about 40 minutes by car.
Where to stay in Taormina. We have stayed in one of the two Belmond hotels, Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea in Taormina Mare. The Hotel is located in Mazzarò bay, within a well-kept garden of fragrant flowers, including bougainvillea, oleander, jasmine and hibiscus. The beautiful historic building that houses it has been completely renovated, and has 68 rooms and suites. The one we stayed in was wonderful: spacious, with all warm tones of ivory and gold. The bed was very comfortable, with an elegant golden headboard. There was a living area with a sofa, armchairs and a wide computer desk, two giant wardrobes and finally a bathroom, also very large, with a bath and a shower. Finally a wonderful terrace overlooking the sea, with a ceramic table. Every corner of the hotel was adorned with flowers and plants, and even the terrace was: in every corner there were pink geraniums!
Where to eat in Taormina. I cannot recommend you to try Ristorante Olivero, which is located inside Villa Sant’Andrea. The terrace overlooks the bay and, by choosing one of the colorful majolica tables, you can enjoy an excellent lunch by the sea. You will be served a glass of your favorite wine, different types of freshly baked bread and an extra-virgin olive oil to taste with it, which is really tasty. Then you can continue choosing from the menu card: the first day I ordered seafood salad and spaghetti with tomato sauce… What more could you want?
After lunch we unpacked and we inquired about how to reach the center of Taormina, which is just 5 km away. You can take the funicular or the free shuttle service of Belmond that every half hour from 10 a.m. to midnight goes back and forth from Villa Sant’Andrea to Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo (whose entrance is adjacent to the entrance to the Greek Theater). It depends on the traffic, but in general the minivan takes from 10 to 20 minutes to cover the route, along one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in Sicily.
Once I reached Grand Hotel Timeo I was enchanted by its lush gardens and its wonderful flower arrangement.. I discovered it has being curated by Sebastian Flowers Italy, with flowers coming directly from Holland and arranged by the expert hands of Davide!
As soon as you exit the Grand Hotel Timeo you are in the main street of Taormina, where the windows will enchant you (and will tempt you) with postcards and small objects of all kinds, straw bags, colorful swimsuits and delicious gastronomic products.
But our goal was to try the typical Sicilian granita with brioche. So many on Instagram Stories had recommended the Bam Bar, and so we went there. Thanks to a stroke of luck we found a table outside and we ordered a lot of granitas to try: peach, raspberry, orange and almond, as well as two very soft brioches. While we were shooting the photographs you see below, Saro, the owner, told us that there was a lack of color on the table. Since that day the pistachio granita was no longer available, he brought another one of green color, the kiwi granita, and it was really delicious!
While telling us the story of how his Bam Bar was born, Saro made us discover the surroundings, including a really beautiful house with a colorful door and the image of a cat!
After chatting a lot, we went back to the Grand Hotel Timeo just in time to see the sunset.
In the evening we left the breakfast sheet filled out with our preferences and with the timetable, and the next morning they knocked on the door and set up a table for us on the terrace! There was a surprise for us: in addition to the dishes we had ordered, there was also a huge dish with granita of all tastes and mini brioches to accompany them!
It was a beautiful sunny day and we took advantage of it to try the beach service. In fact, they had reserved a cabana for us: it is a very special service that includes a private gazebo with sofa, armchair and mini-bar with a lot of refreshing spray, straw bag, slippers, sun glasses, sunscreens and all what you need to enjoy the day at the beach! Exactly in front of it, two very soft mattresses and then, in the first row, two deckchairs with umbrella. To never have to move every time the sun turns!
In between shooting we put our feet in the beautiful but fresh water of the Mediterranean, when we see a boat coming ashore with colorful drawings that recall majolica. We discover that it belongs to Davide and that it was used for an advertising campaign created by Dolce & Gabbana starring Monica Bellucci: isn’t it beautiful?
Then we went up to the Grand Hotel Timeo, where we had reserved a table for lunch at the Ristorante Terrazza Letteraria. We started, as usual, tasting many different types of bread and breadsticks, all made with typical Sicilian flours, to be drenched in an extra virgin olive oil with a truly exceptional taste.
As a starter a colorful dish of scallops pizzaiola style, to dip in tomato sauce, burrata cream, dried powder of olives, capers and oregano. We continue with spaghetti with oysters and sea crumbs, seared tuna in quinoa crust and, finally, a dessert made by a sweet beetroot on the bottom, almond ice cream and chocolate puff. Lastly, a small pastry tasting, to be served with coffee. I thank the executive chef Roberto Toro for creating this delicious menu for us!
What to see in Taormina. The center of Taormina is basically a main street with many alleys that go up and down, offering really picturesque views. There are beautiful squares and churches, the Villa Comunale which offers a really beautiful view of the Isola Bella. And there is a very special place that those who follow me on Instagram will recognize immediately. Remember the Laura-vase that my boyfriend gave me last year for my thirty years birthday? He made it realized in Taormina, by Don Corleone Objects, because he remembered how much I enjoyed their work when many years ago we came here on holiday together (during university years). The shop is beautiful and is located in the middle of a colorful staircase, one of the most instagram-worthy spot in Taormina!
After the walk in the village, we descend again to Villa Sant’Andrea to enjoy an happy hour on the beach at sunset. We are offered two delicious cocktails, one made with gin and raspberries and the other, non-alcoholic, one made by licorice and passion fruit.
After the aperitif, another wonderful dinner awaits us at the Restaurant Olivero, based on fresh fish and a crescent moon-shaped aubergine parmigiana, culminating with a selection of typical sweets. They are served on a beautiful ceramic plate, coming from Caltagirone, in the shape of Sicily on which the sweets are placed precisely in correspondence of the place whose origin is presumed.
Here they are the traditional Sicilian sweets: the sfogliatella, the cannolo, the cassata, a spicy chocolate made in Modica and a cinnamon jelly! I thank the executive chef Agostino D’Angelo for this delicious surprise!
The last day in Taormina they booked for us a boat trip but unfortunately we had to cancel it due to the uncertain weather. As soon as the rain stops, we go up for the last time to Taormina. The garden of Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo was really too beautiful not to take some pictures, so we take the opportunity to take a photoshoot among the flowers. When we enter the hall we discover that the flower installation had changed: that very morning they were placing them on wonderful ceramic vases in the shape of a strawberry!
We then went to say goodbye to Saro at the Bam Bar and to promise him that I would be back soon! We took a picture together, which he has included among the images that are projected on the big screen inside the bar: if you go there you’ll see me in the pictures!
After the light rain in the morning, the sun was out and it was also quite hot: so we took the opportunity to freshen up with a freshly squeezed orange juice in this delicious little bar!
Thanks to my work I have often stayed in five-star hotels, but few have been at the Belmond level. Every aspect, from the stay to the bedroom, to the restaurant and to the beach, was studied in details. Many have asked me if it is a suitable location for a wedding and I can honestly answer that it is and that it would be a dream to get married there!
And so my 3 days in Taormina end! Before saying goodbye, I would like to thank the whole team of the Villa Sant’Andrea who has cuddled us constantly from our arrival to departure. Thank you so much!
I wish you all a wonderful Wednesday!