Toarmina is a city known for its dramatic siting on a mountainside overlooking the Mediterranean as well as its historic Greek/Roman amphitheater ruin. The Lonely Planet describes it as a “chi-chi resort town popular with holidaying high-rollers.” That describes us perfectly as we routinely take our rollers (bikes) to high places (mountains) and we consider cyclists, by definition, chic. This would be our kind of place!
We were a little early in May for the glitterati, but only a little—this year’s G-7 Summit will happen in Taormina in 2 weeks—and we saw ample signs. Carabinieri, police and soldiers were prominent. Our biggest surprise was the multi-level parking deck built into the side of the mountain and beneath the town was entirely closed. It was as empty as a great concrete ruin. Since there’s no place to park a vehicle in the medieval-width streets of Taormina itself, workers, tourists and our Andiamo guides had to park in a reserve deck 3/4 mi. away and walk into town.
We stayed in Taormina for two nights; unfortunately, we spend so much time on our bikes that we seldom have time to explore a town thoroughly. Toarmina is definitely worth a stroll, and it appeared to us that it has a plentiful supply of gelato and all its restaurants have an outdoor terrace overlooking the sea.