Taormina is a magnet for fashion-buyers and antique shops loversStores
Generally stores are open 7 days a week from 9am to 1pm and from 4pm to 9pm; the main fashion stores are open no-stop while most shops are open until midnight during the summer. Newsagents sell English and all foreigner newspapers, books and magazines. Shopping is one of the main attractions for our beautiful town, something not to miss !
There are many fruit stands, small food and grocery stores (Alimentari) in Taormina, SMA is the largest and main one, situated in Via Apollo Arcageta 19 near the Porta Catania gate and the Post office. It has a meat counter, a bakery counter and a fruit counter as well as a large spread of wines and spirits.
There are some interesting markets around for clothes, shoes and bags and prices are very cheap, just bargain ! In Taormina it takes place on every Wednesday morning in Contrada Chiusa until 1pm. A really good and large market is in Giardini-Naxos, on Saturdays until 1 pm.
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8.35 in the morning and generally close at 4pm. Remember to take your passport with you if you are changing travellers’ cheques or currency. During the weekends you can find several exchange offices. There are several banks in town and practically one ATM machines at every corner.
“La Posta”the main Post Office in Taormina is located by the archdoor of Porta Catania from 8am to 6 pm every day except Sundays. Souvenir shops do not sell stamps but you can find them at Newsagents or tobacconists (Tabacchi) along all main town streets. You can get stamps and have your cards and letters posted by Villa Carlotta reception at no extra charge. The post boxes in Sicily are red.
Taormina Ufficio del turismo is located in the stunning Palazzo Corvaja on Taormina main walking street. You can get free maps and several information about the town and its area.
Pharmacies are generally open all day until 8pm, usually a chemist is open on Sundays on a rotation basis. Pharmacies staff all speak a fluent English.
There are a few gas stations near Villa Carlotta and many along the main touristic roads and expressways (autostrade), petrol is very expensive in Italy.
Transport and communications are excellent in Taormina which is well linked higher up with the medieval small village of Castelmola and , lower down, to the beaches along with national roads and the Catania- Messina motorway. Staying at Hotel Villa Carlotta allows you not to need driving unless for sightseeing trips (info at our reception with maps and itineraries). The hotel provides free shuttle to the beach during the summer although some people like to enjoy a walk to the sea(15 min.). In any case you have a choice of taxis, public buses (small orange is local, blue and big is to go to nearby towns – there is a Villa Carlotta bus top), cable car from Taormina town centre at a few meters from Porta Messina archway and Corso Umberto linking with the beach area of Mazzarò. The train station is located near Giardini-Naxos at about 5 km. from Taormina and Hotel Villa Carlotta. One way to feel part of the Italian and Sicilian style of life is to rent a scooter, it gives you a full sense of freedom and no parking problems (helmet is absolutely compulsory).
Sports and activities
Golf – Il Picciolo golf club (18 holes). is located in Castiglione di Sicilia in the Etna wine country area, a mere 35 minutes drive from Taormina. Other popular sports in our town are tennis, scuba diving, watersports, boating, parafly, soccer and of course jogging in our wonderful botanical gardens (2 min. from Villa Carlotta).