Visiting the Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina, Sicily - WanderWisdom - Travel
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Visiting the Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina, Sicily

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

Teatro Greco

Teatro Greco

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.

visiting-the-ancient-greek-theatre-taormina-sicily
visiting-the-ancient-greek-theatre-taormina-sicily

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

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

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.

visiting-the-ancient-greek-theatre-taormina-sicily

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.

visiting-the-ancient-greek-theatre-taormina-sicily

Other Articles on Sicily

  • Visitors Guide to Italy's Active Volcanoes
    Learn everything you need to know about Italy's three active volcanoes; Etna, Stomboli, and Vesuvius. These geological wonders draw millions of visitors every year for the many adventurous outdoor activities that they offer.
  • A Visit to Siracusa's Island of Ortygia
    Enjoy this guide to visiting the historical island of Ortygia. Connected to Siracusa by three bridges, Ortygia is home to some of Sicily's greatest archaeological treasures.
  • The Valley of the Temples - Agrigento, Sicily
    One of Sicily's most famous archaeological sites is without a doubt the Valley of the Temples. Located just outside of Agrigento, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a must see when visiting Sicily.

Questions & Answers

Question: Is the ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina, Sicily open at night?

Answer: They have recently added lighting to the theater in an effort to stay open later so that visitors can enjoy the historic theater after the sun has set. There are also night time walking tours of Taormina that include a visit to the theater. I’m sure it’s a beautiful sight at night with the new lights.

© 2013 Bill De Giulio

Comments

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 06, 2017:

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.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 06, 2017:

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

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 26, 2014:

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

Max on April 26, 2014:

See my photos at http://next72.blogspot.it/2014/04/greek-theater-of...

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 16, 2013:

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.

Nicole Quaste from Philadelphia, PA on May 16, 2013:

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 :)

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 13, 2013:

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

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on May 13, 2013:

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!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 10, 2013:

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.

Claudia Mitchell on May 10, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 01, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 01, 2013:

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 from Essex, UK on May 01, 2013:

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 Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 01, 2013:

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

Voted up, interesting and awesome. Shared and pinned.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 30, 2013:

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.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on April 30, 2013:

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!!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 29, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 29, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 29, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 29, 2013:

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

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 29, 2013:

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

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 29, 2013:

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 from Athens, Greece on April 29, 2013:

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.

Dil Vil from India on April 28, 2013:

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 on April 28, 2013:

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

Chris Achilleos on April 28, 2013:

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

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 28, 2013:

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.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 28, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 28, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 28, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 28, 2013:

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.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 28, 2013:

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.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 28, 2013:

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

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on April 28, 2013:

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 from Dehra Dun, India on April 28, 2013:

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.

anndango on April 28, 2013:

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!