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10-Aug-2017 18:26 by 2 Comments

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In the sea below Taormina is a small rock-bound island with a nature preserve, almost connected to the mainland by a sandy beach.

Founded by the Hohenstaufens in the 13th century and altered several times in the 15th-17th centuries, it combines medieval and more recent features.

Taormina's most famous landmark is the Greek Theater, originally built in the third century BC under Hiero II of Syracuse.

But under Roman rule in the second century BC, it was completely rebuilt with all the characteristics of a Roman theater.

This is the start of the main street, Corso Umberto, which then crosses the town before ending at Porta Catania.

The entire street with its squares and terraces, shops, open-air cafés, and lanes leading from it, seems made just for sauntering and stopping to savor the views of Mt. Piazza IX Aprile, which lies along Corso Umberto, opens onto a terrace with a beautiful view of Mt. This piazza is where the older part of the town begins, marked by a square stone clock tower.

For most tourists, the greatest appeal of Taormina is the town itself.

Its streets are a pleasure to stroll, lined with romantic buildings and opening onto terraces with stunning views.The flow of lava has since stopped, but volcanic activity remains elevated.Access to the volcano's higher slopes has been closed for safety.The unplastered exterior with its crenellations is original, whereas the Baroque main door was added in 1636 and matches the 1635 Baroque fountain in the middle of the square.The three aisles of the basilica are separated by large pillars supporting pointed arches.Geologists even coined a term, “Strombolian”, to describe the distinctive type of eruption with which the volcano is associated: series of mild but spectacular bursts that send molten rock and ash shooting into the air as high as hundreds of metres.