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'Touristy' Taormina??

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Devon, UK
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'Touristy' Taormina??

Lots of postings refer to Taormina as 'touristy', even though it's also described as a beautiful town worth visiting - what do people mean by this?? I'm guessing it's not touristy in the sense of being full of cheap and tacky souvenir shops, English-style 'pubs' and 'home-from-home' cafes where you don't have to eat any 'foreign' food, etc. - so what is it that makes it 'touristy'? I'm going there in late May for a week - and I'm a tourist too!!

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for Venice
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1. Re: 'Touristy' Taormina??

Taormina is beautiful, but geared for tourist, which is a bit unusual in Sicily, I have not been for a few years, may have changed, there are a lot of tourist but shops etc were not too souvenir orientated, certainly worth going too, there were no English style pubs then, best to say a bit touristy but not in the trashy sense,

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2. Re: 'Touristy' Taormina??

Yes Taormina is beautiful but very busy might be the best way to describe it.

Not tacky touristy like Sorrento.

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3. Re: 'Touristy' Taormina??


It is not a problem to stay in a touristy place, if it doesn't bother you.

In season, prices are going up, and also people may not find it authentic because it becomes more tourist than local population. Touristy means also crowded.

It doesn't mean that you have bad food or foreign immitated food. It is more on jewerly stores, Beneton stores, etc.. side.

Many touristy places are fun to visit and are actually beautiful or do have attractions, but staying longer it is another story.

We will be staying in Giardini Naxos in June, just bellow Taormina, on the beach and a simpler place. Will be visiting Taormina, but not staying there.

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4. Re: 'Touristy' Taormina??

For me it's one of the differences between Cefalu and Taormina. When you visit Cefalu, despite the fact it's also touristy you get the feeling the village can survive without the tourists. It has other stuff going on and most of the people you meet actually live there. In Taormina, you get the feeling that if the tourists disappeared the town would too.

That said, the place is bloody gorgeous and there's a reason people go there (myself included). :)


Manager, Agorà Hostel, Catania

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5. Re: 'Touristy' Taormina??

Tourists have been visiting Taormina for 200 years, because it's an incredible place. It's touristy in the same way that the colosseum is or the pyramids, not Benidorm

It is very busy and depends completely on tourism, but you will not find a single English pub or cafe (unless one has opened in the last year or two - I'd be very surprised). Having said that, you also won't find it as easy to eat well and cheaply there as in other towns in Sicily. Spend a day or two in Catania (which is not particularly pretty, but much better than Messina) for a more authentic slice of Sicily - and you get to see Mt Etna

New York City
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6. Re: 'Touristy' Taormina??

I stayed in Taormina back in 1980 at the tail-end if its "La Dolce Vita" era. At that time, there were few tour groups, except for those from Europe--Germany and Holland and Britain. Mostly it was individual tourists and families from those countries. Celebrities like Liz Taylor and Sophia Loren and Valentino stayed the the San Domenico and there were plenty of mid-priced hotels and cheap pensiones. Those "pensiones" now charge about $200 per night. I payed $17 in November of 1980! The nightlife consisted of good-looking and older Sicilian playboys escorting the European women on holiday to the pricey nightclub "La Giara", some returned yearly to meet their "boyfriends."

Today, they have cut a tunnel through Mt. Tauro to accommadate tour busses that transfer tour groups packed like sardines into "shuttles" that rumble into town to a lot a block or so off Corso Umberto, where they are dropped off for a few hour to roam and shop. There are many more hotels and they charge much more. The shops are perfect for tour groups that want to make a good shopping detour and they sell designer leather and clothing as well as mediocre, over-priced jewelry. Basically, it has lost it's "La Dolce Vita" flavor, the heart of which was the Moccambo Bar where you could sit at an outdoor table and view Etna and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. For that alone, it is worth a visit. The handsome playboys are gone, replaced by seedy gigolos.

7. Re: 'Touristy' Taormina??

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