It goes without saying that of all the places in Sicily to visit with kids, Taormina remains one of the top choices for family vacations. This aspect is reinforced also by the friendly attitude of the locals who take great pride in family values – as do all Italians in general, although in Sicily it is markedly more so than in other parts of the country. Sicilians have a great respect for tradition and this is expressed in the daily life, folklore, customs and the festivals of the many towns which are all unique in their own way, where you can see children play in the local piazzas and making friends with others of their own age. Thankfully young children have no language barriers, so do not be surprised if while relaxing by the beaches of Giardini Naxos or Mazarro your kids are approached by local children and whisked away to play ball, swim by the shore or build sand castles.
To truly enjoy your vacation in Sicilian style you will not be disappointed by the wide choice of beachfront hotels in Taormina and all over Sicily. Beautiful sea view and the sound of the waves assure an unforgettable experience. Remember also that special discounts can be offered if booked early in advance or at certain parts of the year.
Taormina is not only a safe place for children and families, and notorious as one of the top attractions for tourists, but it is also – along with its Isola Bella bay – a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and is filled with natural treasures and exciting activities for all kids. These include hiking along the topmost fuming craters of looming Mt. Etna (at the foot of Catania), a once-in- a-lifetime experience that is unequalled. Playing games like spotting rare Mediterranean flora and plants and naming them is another delightful and also educational experience for your kids. Savour a picnic on the grass while you immerse yourself in the Mediterranean gardens of Taormina and its Giardini Naxos, filled with orchards, lemon and palm trees. Check out especially the playground at the Villa Comunale (Gardini Trevelyan), with its exotic parrots, tropical plants, swings and lovely picnic spots overlooking ancient ruins. Visit the 3 rd Century B.C. Greco-Roman amphitheatre in the shadow of Etna where you can catch many performances and stage plays and your kids will surely have a blast.
Italian food is another reason why families with children will enjoy Taormina. Not only is the Mediterranean diet considered among the healthiest in the world – and certainly the best in Europe – but you will find that many restaurants have kid’s menus specially designed that is to offer the best in terms of quality and preference; from mini-pizzas, pasta dishes (with tomato sauce or seafood), to arancini, supplì, cone gelati of any flavour from strawberry, mint, pistachio, peach and many more all made with fresh fruit and granitas that will give your kids that extra boost of energy they need. And those that do not carry kid’s menus will always be more than happy to prepare small portions that cater to your child’s preference. Pizzas are always a favourite, and do not forget that the best tomatoes in the whole of Italy are grown in Sicily.
Take your kids on a boat ride to see the coral reefs and swim around the bay of the Isola Bella; they will also be thrilled at the cable car ride that will take you from Taormina to this exotic bay full of lush vegetation, with its warm beach and crystal blue waters.
A visit to Etnaland Acqua-Park and Theme Park (by Catania – only 50 mins away by car) is definitely worth checking out. Kids will enjoy the breathtaking rolling coaster and water-rides and marvel at the life-size statues of Dinosaurs and other theme-based wonders and fun play areas.