Taormina the black pearl of Sicily

The history of Taormina

Taormina the black pearl of Sicily, in the nineteenth century, all the young people from illustrious families of northern Europe. Once they had completed their classical studies and before embarking on their careers, had to take the Grand Tour. That is a journey through France and the Italian Peninsula. This became a sort of rite of passage. Which would accompany them through the roughness of their future lives, at a time when mass tourism did not exist at all. The last term of such a Grand Tour, before returning home, was usually Taormina, in Sicily.

Here they stayed blissfully for a few weeks or even a few months. Absorbing the light and beauty to the full before returning to their northern cities, full of fog and cold.

This pilgrimage of privileged people, intellectuals, and bon vivant continued almost to the present day, with celebrated American, British, and German writers, film directors, politicians. Taormina today is a town of 10,000 inhabitants in the province of Messina, Sicily. We see it perched on a hill 206 m above sea level. Suspended between rocks and the sea, on a terrace of Mount Tauro. In a setting of natural beauty unique in the world for variety and contrast. There is a volcano, still active, Etna, that stands out against the backdrop of the sky. 

The history of Taormina began with the Magna Graecia; that is, it was a settlement of Greeks. Then it remained under the state of Syracuse until Rome, in 212 BC, annexed it with all of Sicily, as a Roman province.  During the servile war (134 – 132 B.C.) Tauromenium was occupied by the insurgent slaves, who chose it as a safe stronghold. Besieged by Pompilius, they endured for a long time even withstanding hunger and only surrendering when one of their leaders, Serapion, betrayed them. It was repopulated by Roman settlers by Augustus in 21 B.CB.C.

Taormina’s best period

We can conclude that Taormina’s best period was between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With exceptional visitors including King Edward VII of Great Britain, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who was inspired here and wrote his masterpiece “Thus spoke Zarathustra”. Also Richard Wagner, Tsar Nicholas I, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, with his cousin Tsar Nicholas II. And Tsarina Aleksandra Fëdorovna Romanovna granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Gustav Klimt, Sigmund Freud. And finally Edmondo De Amicis, Grand Duke Paul of Russia, Archduke Mihail Pavlopic brother of Tsar Nicholas II. Bankers, tycoons, aristocrats from all over the world, the list is too long to be reported in full.

Today it is Roman theatre, its palaces, its hotels overlooking the sea. And its restaurants make it one of the favorite destinations in the world. Even if mass tourism has not yet discovered it, fortunately. For this reason, we recommend to all those who are looking for an unforgettable destination for their honeymoon. Without fear of wandering, Taormina should be at the top of their list. We guarantee to all unique and unforgettable memories!

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