Taormina is a very popular holiday town on a cliff by the sea on the east coast of the island of Sicily, Italy, about halfway between Catania and Messina.
Settled on a hill of the Monte Tauro, Taormina offers visitors a breathtaking, dramatic and memorable view. It dominates two grand sweeping bays below and on the southern side there is Mount Etna, the European highest active volcano often capped with snow.
How to reach Taormina
The easiest way to reach Taormina is to fly into Catania International Airport (Italy's third-largest airport by domestic air travel volume), and then take a 90-minute bus to Taormina. On weekdays, buses run in the daytime (6:45am to 7:45pm) every other hour; weekend schedules skip mid day trips. Tickets cost around EUR 7 (one way), and can be bought directly on the bus. Once in Taormina, the bus stops 400 mt (1/4 mi) away from the city center (Porta Messina). If you are staying at the conference venue, have a look at this map for walking directions (10–15 mins).
Some hotels in Taormina provide (for a fee) a shuttle service from and to the airport to their guests. You might also reach Taormina from the airport by car in an hour or so. Renting a car, however, is discouraged, as Taormina has severe traffic limitations—only residents are allowed to drive cars in the city center, and parking is limited. Should you nevertheless decide to rent a car, notify the front desk at the conference venue and they will direct you to a nearby unsecured parking lot. Please be advised that space is limited, and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
The cost of a taxi ride varies, with EUR 90 being a rough estimate. To coodinate with other participants if you wish to share a taxi from the airport to the hotel.
Cheaper transportation might be possible by sharing car service (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org).
The "Vincenzo Bellini" International Airport is located 65Km from Taormina.
The airport offers connections with all the major Italian and European cities, including all the capitals.
There is a direct bus linking Catania Airport with Taormina in about 1h 30m. The bus leaves for Taormina every half an hour (ticket price: 6 Euro).
The Villa Diodoro hotel is located just outside the historical city centre. Literally just a 5 minute walk from the bus stop to the hotel. A map with directions will be added soon.
The AMT city bus links Catania Airport to the Catania Central Train Station regularly (ticket price: 1.20 Euro). See the “By Train” section for further train instructions.
A team of speed-flyers has become the world's first to descend Italy's
Mount Etna successfully.
The extreme sport involves a combination of paragliding and skiing at
speeds of around 60mph - nearly as fast as a car on a motorway.
First the team have to climb Mount Etna, the top of which is 3,329 metres high. Climbing any mountain that high would be tricky enough, but then racing down one of the world's most active volcanoes has even more risks.
Mount Etna has already erupted five times in 2012 and no-one knows exactly when it will erupt again. On the day of the team's challenge there were no eruptions, though.
After reaching the summit the team set off into their high-speed descent back down to the valley.
They celebrated their achievement back at the bottom!