Isola Bella in Taormina was donated to the municipality of the same name around 1806, by Ferdinand I of Bourbon. In 1890 Florence Trevelyan, an English noblewoman, purchased it because she would spend her exile in Sicily. In 1990 it became the property of the Taormina Cultural Heritage Department and in 1998 it was declared a Nature Reserve. It is managed by Cutgana, the University Centre for the Protection and Management of Natural Environments and Agro-ecosystems.
How to get there
Isola Bella is connected to the mainland by a thin tongue of sand where you can walk on. Depending on the tide conditions, the water level may be low enough to walk comfortably in the sand, otherwise you will wet up to your knees.
From either Catania or Messina, take the A18 motorway and exit at ‘Taormina’ and take the 114 state road. When you arrive near the island, you can find roadside or private parking spaces at a cost of 10 euro per day.
Near the island, some boat excursions services are available. For a cost ranging from 10 to 15 euros, you can go around the island admiring different caves such as the Grotta Azzurra and the Grotta della Conchiglia
The Naturalistic Museum of Isola Bella can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am until sunset. Entrance to Isola Bella and to the Museum costs €4 for a single full ticket and €2 for a reduced one.