Getting there & around
The bus is the easiest way to reach Taormina. Interbus (0942 62 53 01; Via Luigi Pirandello) services leave daily for Messina (€2.83, 1½ hours, five daily Monday to Saturday) and Catania (€4.40, 1½ hours, hourly). The Catania bus also services the train station and Giardini-Naxos (€1.85). There are also services to the Gola dell’Alcàntra (€4.85 return, four daily) and up to Castelmola (€1.45, 15 minutes, four daily).
Taormina is on the A18 autostrada and the SS114 between Messina and Catania. Parking is a complete nightmare and Corso Umberto I is closed to traffic. The only real place to park is the Lumbi car park (0942 2 43 45; 24hr), north of the town centre. There is a shuttle service to the centre from Porta Messina.
California (0942 2 37 69; Via Bagnoli Croce 86) rents out cars and scooters at reasonable prices. A Fiat Punto with air-con costs €65/300 per day/week. A Vespa 125 costs €35/200 per day/week.
There are regular trains to and from Messina (1st/2nd class €7.45/6, 40 minutes, half-hourly) and Catania (1st/2nd class €4.45/3, 45 minutes, half-hourly), but the awkward location of Taormina’s station is a strong disincentive. If you arrive this way, catch an Interbus service up to the town. They run roughly every 30 to 90 minutes (less frequently on Sunday).