If you like going on long walks, you will love this column! Today we talk about the walking routes on Taormina, offering you 4 different itineraries to choose from, you can evaluate them one by one and they are all passable without much preparation:
- the Via Crucis, ascent to the castle
- the path of the Saracens
- la Scalazza, from Isola Bella to Taormina
- Branco climb, from Taormina to Castelmola
Way of the cross
This path includes an intermediate capacity. The way to go is very narrow and about a kilometer long, but the view on arrival is absolutely worth the effort to reach the small and delightful church of the Madonna della Rocca (precisely because it is set in the rock), at the end of this path, which ends just below the Byzantine castle.
The view is clearly suggestive: you can see both the coast towards Catania with the small Gulf of Giardini Naxos, and the part to the north, where Messina and Reggio Calabria look out over the Ionian Sea.
There are many stairs to climb and it only takes about 20 minutes.
Path of the Saracens
With the path of the Saracens, we are talking about an ancient access road to Castelmola located along the southern slope of Monte Tauro (the mountain overlooking Taormina).
The very word “climb” already suggests that we avoid this route in the very hot Sicilian summer months and rather choose the other seasons.
Starting from Porta Catania or the “Leonardo Da Vinci” ring road you will have the opportunity to reach your destination.
Going up from Porta Catania towards via Apollo Arcageta, you will cross Piazza Andromaco from which you continue to the “Celestino Penna” staircase, which will take you to Piazza Goethe.
Going up the stairs on the square, on the right side of a small private road that leads to a large pink residence, you will find the entrance to the path!
If you start from the ring road, however, you will immediately notice the large pink complex of modern houses on which you can glimpse the start of a stone staircase, on the right side, which we had already described above.
It will take between 30 and 45 minutes and it is a very simple path to follow with the use of simple shoes suitable for a walk. He also finds time for interesting stops such as the necropolis of Cocolonazzo, the Saracen door which represented the access to the fortified city of Mola, then for the small chapel of San Biagio, built on a wonderful panoramic terrace.
The Via Branco, also called the Branco climb, is an ancient mule track that leads from Taormina to Castelmola and to all those mountains that surround the city (Monte Porretta, Monte Venere and Monte Ziretto).
The name comes from the fact that in the steep terrain on the sides of the road, a long time ago, flocks of sheep, goats and cows grazed, which obviously gave a strongly pastoral aspect to the environment.