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High on Monte Tauro with two grand sweeping bays below, sits Sicily's best-known resort, Taormina.

The main street is traffic-free and offers an unbroken line of 15th- to 19th-century palazzi, an agreeably crumbling castle, intimate piazzas and rows of flower-filled balconies.

The main attraction is, as it has long been, strolling the flower-decked streets and alleys, and window shopping along the Corso.

The outstanding remains of the Teatro Greco are among the most celebrated ruins in Sicily, both for their remarkable preservation and the beauty of the surroundings.

It is built mostly of brick – therefore probably Roman – though the layout is Greek in design. It’s likely that the present structure was built on the foundations of an older Greek theatre. Taormina is about 45 minutes’ drive from Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano.

In the early 20th century a number of expatriate artists, writers, and intellectuals were drawn to Taormina. D. H. Lawrence lived in a hotel in town from 1920 to 1922, writing poems, novels, short stories, essays and a travel book.

These days Taormina hosts an summertime international arts festival with film, theatre and music.