Visiting the Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina, Sicily

Updated on August 12, 2017
bdegiulio profile image

Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures, experiences, and makes the world a better, more tolerant place.

Teatro Greco
Teatro Greco | Source

Perched on a hilltop in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable is the Ancient Teatro Greco of Taormina. Located on the eastern shores of Sicily, Taormina is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in all of Italy. Sitting some 250 meters above the Ionian Sea, Taormina is a popular destination with tourists due to its trendy beaches and beautiful setting.

The Greek Theatre here is the second largest of its kind in all of Sicily behind only the Greek Theatre of Siracusa. Built in the third century BC, the theatre is remarkably well preserved and is still used today for opera and musical performances.

Constructed during the Greek Hellenistic period, the theatre's design and horseshoe layout are typical of Greek construction. The theatre was literally carved out of the rock on Mount Tauro and had a capacity of 5,000 spectators. However, the extensive use of brick in the theatre suggests a Roman influence and researchers feel that the Romans most likely rebuilt the theatre over the original Greek foundation. This transformation took place during the 2nd century AD and the Romans used the theater for gladiator contests as opposed to plays and gatherings during the Greek period. While the theatre is most often referred to as the Teatro Greco because of its Greek origins, it is also referred to as the Greco-Roman Theatre because of its Roman renovation.

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The selection of this location for the theatre has certainly brought a smile to the face of every photo enthusiast who has walked this ancient ground. The views from the theatre out over the blue Ionian Sea and of Mount Etna, especially on a clear day, are simply spectacular. A very long time ago someone knew exactly what they were doing when they planned to locate this theatre here.

Theresa DeGiulio
Theresa DeGiulio | Source

For those of you planning a visit to the Ancient Teatro Greco in Taormina it is very easy to get to. Simply follow the Corso Umberto, the main pedestrian road through Taormina until you come to via Teatro Greco. Turn right and head up the hill until you come to the end of the road and you have arrived. It’s a short walk from almost anywhere in Taormina and there are signs to point you in the right direction. If you have trouble, simply ask any of the vendors or shop owners in the area and they will be sure to point you in the right direction.

Taormina from the Teatro Greco
Taormina from the Teatro Greco | Source

The ticket office is located behind the stage area and the seating of the theatre rises up the hill from here. For the best views you will have to climb so take this into account before planning a visit. There are no elevators and the rocky steps and gravel walkways are not designed for those with mobility issues. Once at the top of the theatre, however, the views will be your reward.

The theatre is open daily from 9am until 7pm with shorter off-season hours until 4pm. The price of admission is reasonable and will cost you eight euro for adults. Admission is free for those 65 and older and under the age of 18. For those aged 18 to 25 the price is just four euro.

If you can, try to plan your visit for a clear day as the view is definitely part of the attraction here. If Mount Etna happens to be visible you are in for a treat as a photo of the theatre with Mount Etna in the background makes for one of the most picture perfect images imaginable.

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If you happen to get lucky and are visiting Taormina during a scheduled opera or musical performance this is certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Elton John, Bob Dylan, Sting, Santana, Paul Simon and Tony Bennett have all graced this theatre with performances, and the acoustical properties of the theatre are among the best for an open air outdoor venue. The annual Taormina film festival also takes place here each June should you find yourself visiting then.

Sting at the Teatro Greco, Taormina

While there is much to do across Italy from top to bottom don’t forget about a visit to Sicily, which is often overlooked. Taormina is one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean and the setting for the Teatro Greco is simply spectacular. Imagine yourself sitting there looking out over the sea and Mount Etna just as they did 2,300 years ago. Enjoy your visit.

Ciao for now.

Source
A markerTeatro Greco, Taormina -
Teatro Greco, Via Teatro Greco, 40, 98039 Taormina Province of Messina, Italy
get directions

A markerTaormina, Sicily -
Taormina Province of Messina, Italy
get directions

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Bill De Giulio

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      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 6 months ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Mary. Absolutely, couldn’t agree more. We loved Taormina and the theatre is amazing. The views of Mount Etna from the top of the seating area are stunning. Thanks for stopping by, have a great day.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        This is really a must see. Taormina is one of the places we most enjoyed in Sicily.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Max. Thanks for stopping by. I checked our your photos, very nice. Have a great weekend.

      • profile image

        Max 4 years ago

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Nicole. Thank you. Keep saving. I can guarantee you one thing, when you get there you are going to love it and you are want to go back. As a student you certainly have plenty of time so keep studying and saving and before you know it you'll be on your way. Thanks so much for the visit and comments, have a wonderful day.

      • uNicQue profile image

        Nicole Quaste 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

        Your photos are absolutely stunning. I have been trying so hard to save up for a trip to Italy, but it hasn't been easy as a college student. I plan on getting there though, and I plan to revisit a lot of your hubs before I go. Thank you for the hubs :)

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Thanks kidscrafts. Taormina is a beautiful place. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the visit. Have a great day.

      • kidscrafts profile image

        kidscrafts 5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

        I had the chance to visit the ancient Greek theatre of Taormina in late summer 2007. It was beautiful but the weather was not so clear that I could have a good view of Mount Etna.

        For the first time I discover how the caper plant looks like. Very nice plant with round leaves! It was growing near the theatre!

        Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures! You are bringing me back to a wonderful trip!

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Glimmer Twin. Those of us who have visited Taormina know full well how beautiful this place is. Pictures just don't do it justice. The images of this beautiful Sicilian town will be etched in our memory forever I sure. Many thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

        Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

        Well - I have probably already said this in another hub, but Taormina was my favorite stop when I went to southern Italy. I still have a beautiful decorative plate I bought there. The setting was unbelievable and I still remember it well even though it was many years ago. Another beautiful hub.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Alun. Thank you. Keep Taormina on you list, it's definitely worth a visit and the Greek Theatre is amazing. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Thank you rajan. You picked the right word to describe this place. It really is spectacular. Thanks as always for your support, vote, share, pin, etc..

      • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

        Greensleeves Hubs 5 years ago from Essex, UK

        I haven't ever been to Sicily (though it's on the list of 'things to do' but certainly Taormina is one of the 'must visit' places on any tour of the island. Great scenic location captured in your photos, and a good introduction to the theatre. Thanks.

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        Well, Bill! I have just one word for this theater. It's spectacular.

        Voted up, interesting and awesome. Shared and pinned.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Suzie. Thank you. Please don't worry about being late, I am so far behind in responding and commenting that I wonder if I'll ever get caught up. When you get to Italy I'm sure you'll get to Taormina and I think you'll love it. It's a little touristy, especially when the cruise ships come in but it's drop dead beautiful and it makes a great base for exploring the area; Mt. Etna, Alcantara Gorge, Castelmola, etc. I would love to see a show at the Greek Theatre someday, that would be a real treat. As always my thanks for the vote,share, pin, etc..... Have a great day.

      • Suzie HQ profile image

        Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

        Hi Bill,

        Late again, apologies! What a gorgeous addition to your Sicily portfolio and Taormina is the one place I always wanted to visit there. This ancient Greek theatre is an amazing piece of history like so many wonderful landmarks on this island and in Italy. It is fabulous that you can still enjoy opera and musical concerts today and it is what I love about these ancient ruins in Italy. Leece has one too which I look forward to experiencing. Great job as always my friend with beautiful words, original photos, layout and formatting! You rock!! Votes, all shares, tweets pins etc . . . . Love it!!

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Prasetio. Thank you. I appreciate the nice comments. So glad you are enjoying these visits to Italy. We need to get you there someday soon. Thank you for the vote, have a great day.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi there Elias. Thank You. Taormina and the Greek Theatre really are in a beautiful setting. We really enjoyed our time there. Many thanks for the visit, have a great day.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Thanks My Cook Book. Appreciate the nice comments. It really is a beautiful setting. We would love to go back someday and see a performance there.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Michelle. The pictures actually don't do it justice. Hopefully you get there someday soon. It is amazing, and beautiful.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Chris. Thanks for visiting, glad you enjoyed the hub. Many thanks for the vote and share, have a great day.

      • prasetio30 profile image

        prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

        Great hub, very well written and the photos you included are the best. I have enjoyed reading your other hubs. Thanks for sharing with us. Voted up :-)

        Prasetio

      • Elias Zanetti profile image

        Elias Zanetti 5 years ago from Athens, Greece

        Excellent hub, Bill. Your photography is simply amazing. As for Sicily, is a unique place where you can combine its natural beauty with such a rick cultural history.

      • My Cook Book profile image

        Dil Vil 5 years ago from India

        The pics are awesome and the info was very well written. Great hub indeed. Thanks for a good read and a great share.

      • Insightful Tiger profile image

        Insightful Tiger 5 years ago

        Oh wow! I would love to go there. The pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing, but I'm jelly :)

      • Chris Achilleos profile image

        Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

        Fantastic hub bdegiulio, loved the photos! I have never heard of this Ancient Greek theater but it sure looks beautiful! Voted up and shared!

        Chris

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Alicia. I hope you get there some day soon. You will love Taormina, it's just beautiful. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment and thank for sharing the hub. Have a great day.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        How wonderful to watch a theatre performance with that fantastic view in the background! Sicily is very beautiful. I hope so much that I can visit it one day. I'm sharing this hub.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Bill. I know we've discussed this in the past, but they sure don't make things like they used to. It just amazes me that some of these structures have stood for over 2,000 years. They certainly knew what they were doing back then. And they sure did pick a beautiful location for this particular theatre. As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Joe, As always, I look forward to your comments and I certainly very much appreciate your support. I do feel blessed to have had the opportunity to visit such a place and I really enjoy sharing these experiences. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, have a great day.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi srsddn. Thanks for stopping by. You are correct in that the Romans gave this theatre a completely different look when they renovated it. The Romans used a lot of brick and this was not part of the original Greek construction. There is certainly a lot of history here. Many thanks for the vote, pin, etc... Have a great day.

      • bdegiulio profile image
        Author

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Ann. Thank you. I just wish there was a show scheduled while we were there. I think it would have been so neat to have attended a concert or a play there. Maybe next time. Thanks for the vote, share, etc., have a great day.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Whenever I see pictures of these ancient ruins my first thought is that they built things to last back in the day. Amazing architecture, and doubly amazing that it still stands today. Thank you as always for the tour....wonderful pictures my friend.

        Have a great Sunday!

        bill

      • hawaiianodysseus profile image

        Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

        Absolutely stunning, Bill! I thoroughly enjoy your travel niche. You're blessed to have these wonderful experiences, along with your loved ones, and I love the fact that you're willing to share these great sights and wonderful times with us via your excellent articles. Thank you so much for sharing and--yes!--inspiring us to the notion of Someday! Aloha, my friend, and thank you again for your continued support!

        Joe

      • srsddn profile image

        srsddn 5 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

        bdegiulio, Greek Theatre of Taormina seems to be a great place, firstly, for its location - the blue Ionian Sea view must be gorgeous and secondly, because of the design. The Greek and Roman mix might have given it altogether a different look and place to study from the architectural point of view. Thanks for introducing a great place. Voted up, interesting and pinned.

      • profile image

        anndango 5 years ago

        Another great hub with beautiful pictures! Such beautiful views and I find it so cool that this ancient Greek theatre is being used today after all these centuries for concerts. Voted up and sharing!

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