And there is always a good reason to go there, shopping for example: the boutiques selling handicrafts, antiques and the latest fashions that are clustered around Corso Umberto I and the narrow streets behind it are goldmines for unique items and gift ideas for those looking for sophisticated and original pieces.
For a holiday devoted to shopping and relaxation on one of the loveliest coasts in the world, the hotels belonging to the Gais Hotels Group, open year-round, are waiting: the Grand Hotel San Pietro, a luxury five-star that was inaugurated just more than a year ago; the Villa Diodoro, a charming four-star overlooking the sea, minutes away from the heart of Taormina’s old town; the Lido Caparena, for those interested in the regenerative effects of the personalised treatments at the Wellness Club; and the Hotel Isabella, an elegant three-star hotel right on Corso Umberto, in a strategic shopping location.
THE GAIS HOTELS GROUP SPECIAL: SPRING AND SUMMER IN TAORMINA
In 2007 Gais Hotels Group offers a special package at their 4 hotels that includes: 2 nights in a double room with continental buffet breakfast Free upgrade to a Superior room with balcony and sea-view (subject to availability) Third bed free for 1 child up to 12 years old in the same room with parents 10 % discount on all beauty treatments at the Caparena Wellness Club in Taormina Mare Rates: valid from March 31st to October 31st 2007 Grand Hotel San Pietro (luxury 5-star) – 372.00 euros per person (2 nights) Hotel Villa Diodoro (4-star) – 248.00 euros per person (2 nights) Hotel Lido Caparena & Wellness Club (4-star) – 194.00 euros per person (2 nights) Hotel Isabella (3-star) – 152.00 euros per person (2 nights
Corso Umberto I is to Taormina what via Montenapoleone is to Milan. This is where the city’s most sophisticated shops are to be found, like Parisi Donna, which sells all the most famous labels, from Gucci to Prada to Versace.
Parisi has five other fashion stores as well: men’s, children, jeans, accessories, and a Zegna monobrand store. For the latest in sandals, and for Hogans all year round, the place to go is Scandurra, while the jewelry shop Le Colonne at Corso Umberto 164 features the original and elegant line of jewelry designed by Alvaro & Correnti, artisans inspired by the great tradition of Sicilian goldsmiths, creating one-of-a-kind pieces of irresistible beauty.
And if you have a weakness for jewelry, make a detour and visit Grazia Goielli, which sells superb necklaces and other baubles, some of them made with Simetite (Sicilian amber), coral, onyx, jade and silver. For antiques it’s back to Corso Umberto; must-sees are Antiquaria La Rosa at number 174 and Casa d’arte Forin at 148, where you can buy attractive prints of Sicilian views. At number 126 Daneu specialises in tablecloths and 19th-century needlework. Certainly, your shopping in Taormina is not done if you haven’t bought its ceramics and fine food products. For jugs and earthenware the place to go is Girasole (piazzetta Santa Domenica 1-2 and via del Teatro Greco 6); it has a vast selection of handmade pottery from Caltagirone, Santo Stefano, Palermo and Sciocca, in an astonishing variety of designs (ornamental, 17th-century style terracotta, braided, floral, Palermitan, and blue).
If you happen to be doing work on a new house, you could also corder personalised flooring for your kitchen or bathrooms from the Girasole. The Bottega del Buongustaio, in via Di Giovanni, is a stop for anyone with a sweet tooth not to miss: almond paste, typical liqueurs, marzipan, citrus jams and almond wine, a speciality of Castelmola that you have to taste to believe, are just some of the delicacies to be found here. And if you still want to treat yourself, don’t miss the Italian ices at the Bam Bar in via Di Giovanni 45; from the classic lemon granita to those made with coffee, ricotta, mulberries, pistacchios, figs or chocolate, they all should be tried. Unfortunately, you can’t take them home with you, but the memory is indelible.
THE GAIS HOTELS GROUP’S FANTASTIC FOUR
For your stay in Taormina the Gais Hotels Group offers four hotels in different categories that can meet the whole range of guests’ expectations, from the private beach to the wellness centre. The Grand Hotel San Pietro, a five-star hotel overlooking the sea inaugurated just last year, is the group’s flagship.
It’s an oasis of peace in its superb location, and breakfast on its exclusive terrace overlooking the water is an unforgettable experience. The hotel has 62 rooms ranging from Classic and Superior to Junior and Executive Suite, in addition to the luxury Suite Grand Hotel with its stunning views. Guests may use the Hotel Caparena’s private beach, which a free shuttle service connects to the San Pietro. The Hotel Caparena (four-star) is set in luxuriant foliage down at Taormina Mare, just a few kilometres from the old town. Surrounded by a marvelous garden, it also features a beautiful beach with golden sand.
The Caparena Wellness Club is the place where guest regain their psycho-physical equilibrium thanks to specific treatments like hydrotherapy or citrus therapy. The Hotel Villa Diodoro (four-star), just a few feet away from the old town of Taormina, is housed in a building laden with over one hundred years of history that overlooks the Bay of Naxos. The crystal-clear Mediterranean frames the deep blue of the swimming pool. The rooms are stately and elegant.
Delicacies from both Sicilian and Italian cuisine and an excellent wine list are the big draw at the sophisticated restaurant overlooking all of Taormina.
The Hotel Isabella is an elegant three-star hotel in the heart of the historic old town, ideal for guests who love shopping or just window-shopping, discovering the myriad kinds of merchandise the city’s elegant shops have to offer.
The hotel’s lovely terrace with its view of the ancient theatre is the perfect setting for a tasty breakfast overlooking the panorama.Follow and Share with Jetsettersblog.