Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina.
The Ionian Riviera, running up the east coast of Sicily from the bustling lava-stone city of Catania through a series of charming fishing villages and beaches to the enchanting town of Taormina, is certainly one of Sicily’s most intriguing areas. The entire coastline is dominated by the magnificence of Mount Etna, whose presence has shaped the entire area both geologically and historically from time immemorial.
Up the east coast there are a selection of sandy beaches around Syracuse, including those at La Pineta del Gelsomineto, Arenella, and Fontane Bianche.
The pebbly-sandy beaches below Taormina, including those at Giardini Naxos, Isola Bella, Mazzaro‘ and Letojanni are particularly popular and this stretch of coastline is enchantingly beautiful. Taormina’s premier sight is the Antico Teatro Greco (Ancient Greek Theatre), where you can literally travel back in time while enjoying a stunning view. In the summer, the theatre hosts international arts and film festivals.
The coast continues north towards Messina, dotted with sandy beaches and great views of the Italian mainland across the Straits.