The natural beauties of Sicily: Taormina Italy and the Alcantara Gorges

Mariarita Faudale Alcantara Gorges, Eastern Sicily, Sea and Nature, Taormina, Trekking Leave a Comment

One of the best places to visit in the east coast of Sicily is the city of Taormina Italy, which is one of the most attractive places in Sicily's history. Usually, people who go to visit Taormina Italy are fascinated by the main street Corso Umberto, full of shops of the Italian fashion and souvenir shops with the typical Sicilian pottery. The main street of Taormina Italy was the ancient "consolare Valeria" during the Roman conquest in Sicily and it was very important for commerce between Syracuse and Messina. Starting from Catania Gate, the southern entrance of the main street, the visitors can find the cathedral dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Bari. The first cathedral of Taormina Italy was built in the XIII century over the ruins of another church dedicated to Saint Nicholas too. Then, it was rebuilt in the XV, XVI and XVIII century. Today it looks like a fortress because of the stone with which it is built and because of the frame typical of castles. The main portal was built in 1636 according to the will of the Jurors of that time as we can read in the plaque above. In the middle of Taormina Italy, we can find April IX's square, which is also considered the panoramic square of the city with Sicily sights above the Ionian coast and the bay of Giardini Naxos, the first Greek colony of Sicily. In the square, we can see beautiful Sicilian landmarks like the Clock Tower, known also as the Middle Gate of the city, but there is also the beautiful baroque church of Saint Joseph and the medieval church of Saint Augustine, today public library. In the northern area of Taormina Italy, we can find the core of the ancient Roman city center because the area was full of temples, theatre, and thermal bath. Today, in this area of the city we can see Saint Catherine's Church, built in the XVI century; Corvaja Palace, a fortress built by the Arabs in the XI century, used in the XV century to host the reunions of the Sicilian Parliament; and Messina Gate opened in 1808 by the king Ferdinand IV of Bourbons and, for this reason, also called Ferdinand's Door.  You can not miss the Taormina Greek Theatre, which is the second biggest theatre in Sicily. The first structure was built by the Greeks in the III century b.C. but today we are able to see the Roman structure of the II century a.C.  During the Roman period, it was used also as an amphitheater for the battle between gladiators and animals. The Taormina theater is used still today for a lot of cultural events as the Taormina Film Fest, or on the occasion of concerts and plays. The visit of Taormina Italy is not just based on the Sicily culture but you can also enjoy a lot of typical Sicily desserts: along the main street, you can find several bakeries that sell the cannolis, almond pastries, and granitas. Taormina Italy remains one of the best places of tourism Sicily.

Sicily excursions and places to visit Sicily: don't miss the Alcantara Gorges.

Not too much far from Taormina Italy, the lovers of nature can find a beautiful natural canyon that was born from an eruption of the Etna Volcano. They are named "Alcantara Gorges" because of the presence of the Alcantara River which has its beginning on Nebrodi Mountain and his mouth in the Ionian Sea, in the Cape Schisò of Giardini Naxos. It is a river of 52 km (32 miles). The name "Alcantara" has Arab origins and means "The Bridge", because of the bridge built by the Romans and discovered by the Arabs. According to the legend, the canyon of the Alcantara was formed by the wrath of the Gods to punish a dishonest farmer. For this reason, they unleashed a terrible eruption from a crater of Mount Etna, Moio Mountain. In this legend, there's also a bit of Sicily's history because in the III millennium b.C the crater of Moio Mountain erupted and huge masses of lava fell down till the sea. This is one of the best places Sicily to visit and see if you like adventures because in the Natural Park of the Alcantara Gorges there are a lot of Sicily excursions as trekking, body rafting, and canyoning.