Hidden Gem in Taormina

In Italy, there is no shortage of amazing sites to visit. Just walking down the streets you can feel history calling to you like a siren- frescoes, ruins, duomo, basilica, piazza. It is an embarrassment of riches, really. But my favorite part about traveling in this great country is when you happen upon something that you weren’t looking for.

Taormina is a beautiful city and what most people want to see is the Teatro Greco or Greek Theater. While beautiful in it’s own right, it is a bit too obvious for me.

While wandering around Taormina I wanted to find something a little inconspicuous.

I took a right turn in the opposite direction of the Greek Theater, ducked through a large door near Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and happened upon the Corvaja Palace (or Palazzo Corvaja in Italian).

Dating back to the 10th century, this medieval Sicilian palace has an interesting past. The Arab people who inhabited Sicily originally built it and it gets its name from the Corvaja family. They were some of Taormina’s most well known and important aristocrats and owned the palace from 1538 to 1945.

At one point the palace even housed the Sicilian Parliament.

Just walking in to the courtyard of Corvaja Palace, you can see the Arabic influence in the style of the arches of the windows and the doorways.

There is also a lovely balcony that overlooks the courtyard- a bit Juliet-esque, and a nice place for a photo-op.

It was the perfect spot to escape the busy streets of Taormina, and I found delight in knowing that I had found something I didn’t even know I was looking for. Something I would have missed if I took a left in search of the Greek Theater.

What is the best place you have found while traveling that was off the beaten path?

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Amanda M., Gianni House Staff