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why go to Taormina


At first glance, all the hilly terrain and cliffs really scream “don’t come with a toddler!”. However, Taormina, nestled on the side of a hill overlooking the glistening Mediterranean sea with Mount Etna as a backdrop is a brilliant place to visit with kids.

First of all you are in Italy, which means finding food that your kids will eat is easy – more on that later on.

Second of all, you are in Italy, which means the locals will totally love your kids, even when your little ones have spread tomato sauce over every inch of their white linen tablecloth. It’s true. They can do no wrong and you will enjoy your holiday as a happy and relaxed parent. (Except for the Sicilian curses heaped behind your back as you leave – but never mind, what you don’t know won’t hurt you).

The beauty of Taormina is that you can have the best of both worlds – a city break with shopping, churches and ruins to visit, with the beach never more than 20 minutes away. Did we say beach? We meant a selection of delightful beaches.

For those seeking a bit of winter sun, it was 23-26 degrees Centigrade at the end of March (for the week that we were there). A few brave souls swam in the sea, but it is just a little too cold for that. Locals advised us that it would be a few more weeks before the sea was warm enough.

We thought Taormina was a great place to go with kids without succumbing to an obviously kid-centric package holiday resort. Those can provide a seemingly hassle free holiday, but for those who are looking for something a little different with more than just pool-beach-resort holiday, this is a fabulous place to go without getting too far or too exotic.

Moreover, it’s only a 50 minute transfer by car from Catania airport to the centre of Taormina, which is very doable with kids.


  • The sea the sea (Mazarro, Isola Bella and Gardini de Naxos).
  • Greek theatre ruins (not great for buggies – bring a baby carrier).
  • Corso Umberto – shopping, cafes, pastry shops, churches. The Furla shop is particularly tempting…
  • Castelmola.
  • Gardini Trevelyan (aka Villa Communale).
  • Just wandering along the back streets, soaking up sunshine, architecture, examining giant cacti, spotting and naming exotic tropical plants, fragrant lemon trees, the boutiques, cafes and locals sitting around chatting on footsteps.

Little eats

We found that most Sicilian restaurants didn’t do special bambino menus, however were more than happy to cook up bambino-portions of pasta or pizza. The menus were a breeze to choose from – find me a kid who won’t eat pasta or pizza, and we’ll find you a fish which can’t swim (ok we’re getting ahead of ourselves here..). But seriously. Freshly made pastas with the most amazing fresh sauces made from tomatoes bursting with the taste of the warm Sicilian sun. Fresh fish lightly grilled, every flavour of pizza that you can dream of. And of course what better to have for pudding than a giant gelato cone? A different flavour for every day. Our little one found a new favourite in mint gelato!

Not many highchairs abound though – so either bring your own travel highchair, or make do with keeping your little on in a pushchair.

* my little holiday loved:


Via T. Patricio 10


Tel: +39 0942 625327



We noticed that there weren’t as many playgrounds dotted around, as say, Paris, however, if you looked hard enough there were a few scattered around.

Our favourite was the playground in Gardini Trevelyan, also known as the Villa Communale. The gardens themselves are a gem - lush tropical plants, remnants of towers and ruins, lots of little hidden corners to discover, and the odd pair of parrots in a cage! Oh yes, and there are lots of lovely picnic spots – tables and chairs crafted from abandoned boulders makes an al fresco meal even more fun.

Below are a couple of photos of the playground in Gardini Trevelyan. Love the ruin (known as the Beehive) which looms in the background. What a lovely view whilst swinging on the swings!

A playground in Taormina

Another playground in Taormina

We also spotted a playground along the beachfront in Gardini de Naxos, but really, it was no competition to the beach which the kids were drawn to.

Where to stay

mylittleholiday has not actually stayed at a hotel in Taormina, however, in our research, we came across Hotel Villa Carlotta.


We did make inquiries about staying there and we can only say that the staff were superb in answering all our baby related questions. Their responses were rapid, helpful and informative. Their Deluxe and Junior Suites all have baths and fit a baby cot and single bed at no extra charge, which is a nice change as many hotels do charge for an extra bed or kid - (their quote “children are free of charge at this hotel” – very sweet). Also included are a kettle (handy if you need to sterilise those pesky bottles) and dvd player.

As mentioned before, we didn’t stay there in the end but would Love to hear from anyone who has. If you have, please share your story with us!

Self catering

If you are travelling with baby or toddler, it is often better and simpler to stay at self-catering accommodation.

[click on the blue words to click through to either the review results for Residence Schuler or Share Your Story page.]

Getting around


Not cheap but much easier than the bus (we never figured out the timeables and bus stops). It will cost about €20 to Gardini de Naxos, €15 to Castelmola, €80 to the airport. All fares quoted are one way.

We didn’t see any child seats in the taxis, although if you book a taxi to the airport through your hotel or accommodation, our arranged a child seat for the longer journey to the airport (about 50 minutes).

Hire Car

The pros of hiring a car are: 1) you can drive around and visit neighbouring villages at your own leisure; and 2) you won’t to slaves to the fairly high taxi charges.

The cons are: 1) parking is hard to find and expensive; 2) Sicilian roads are narrow and scary, especially around bendy cliffs. Avoid; and 3) you are almost certainly going to get a giant dent or scratch on your hire car. We certainly didn’t see any cars that didn’t bear the scars of Italian driving.


We found that if you pick accommodation within walking distance of the Corso Umberto in Taormina, you really didn’t need a car at all. The whole town is accessible on foot although there are quite a few stairs once you veer off to the side streets from Corso Umberto.


For those on a budget, we certainly saw buses going around (just never figured out where and when to catch them!) and locals and tourists alike used them.


The cheap, fun and most efficient way of getting to Mazarro Beach. It costs €3.50 return for adults. Kids under 1 metre go free (so get your 5 year old to hunch a lot at the ticket office!). Strollers and buggies can wheeled onto the cable car, which is helpful if your little one has fallen asleep

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