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SHORE EXCURSION: TAORMINA & MESSINA TOUR: 8 Hours                                                                     
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Private Tours of Taormina and Messina sicily_messinaInclude: Our private tours of Taormina and Messina include private transportation to and from Messina with English speaking driver/guide, taxes, parking, tolls, and entrance tickets to Greek theater in Taormina.

This private shore excursion from Messina takes you on an exciting tour of two of Sicily’s most beautiful towns, Messina and Taormina. Messina has suffered both devastating earthquakes and World War II bombings. Yet it not only still survives, but boasts some of the most beautiful and important architecture and museums.  You may decide to visit the Museo Regionale, which houses treasures by such artistic greats as Antonello da Messina and Caravaggio. You will also see Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani in Piazza Catalani, a stellar example of the richly decorated and eclectic 12th century Norman architecture. Outside the beautiful Fontana d’Orione is the finest fountain of its kind from 16th-century Sicily, while the fountain of Nettuno (Neptune), dating from the same period, celebrates Messina’s foundation as a major world port.

The most important monument in Messina, however, is the Cathedral, erected during the 12th-century Norman reign. Most of the present cathedral was actually reconstructed after earthquake damage, though a few segments of the original walls remain. If possible, you will be in place at noon to enjoy a very special movement of its astrological clock.

After Messina, you will pass through a fragrant pine tree forest before arriving in Taormina. Beautiful Taormina is situated on a rocky plateau of the steep Monte Tauro, which dominates the Ionian coast, with Etna rising majestically in the background. Downtown Taormina represents a variety of historical periods, from early Greek and Roman settlements, to Byzantine and Medieval remains, up to 15th-century Catalan buildings and 17th-century Baroque churches. You can stroll main street — Corso Umberto — with its art and designer shops, Baroque churches and Palazzos — and get a glimpse of the breathtaking Greek theatre facing the sea. Your guide will make suggestions where you can have an excellent meal.

Time permitting, you will end your private tour of Taormina and Messina with a visit to the charming village of Castelmola, a medieval hill town above Taormina with breathtaking views and narrow, picturesque streets.

 

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