Taormina, Italy

Duomo Square

The compact and perfectly picturesque Piazza Duomo, complete with its own bar and fountain, is the ideal spot to relax whilst on holiday wanderings.

A flight of steps leads to the Palazzo Ciampoli. Though bombed during the second world war and almost completely destroyed, it did not loose its characteristic late medieval façade, and certain Spanish Catalan elements of its structure. The palazzo is now converted into a hotel.

To the right of the Piazza is the Floresta house. Originally built in the Fourteen and Fifteen Hundreds, despite various modifications over the years it has maintained several parts of its original structure.

The Palazzo Municipale (Town Hall) is slightly more recent, dating from the Sixteen Hundreds. The baroque stone fountain at the centre of the piazza is crowned with a mythical figure, half bull half woman: the symbol of Taormina.

The Duomo - the Cathedral - on the piazza, is built on a place of worship dating from the Thirteenth Century and was dedicated to St Nicholas. However, the church was completely reconstructed in the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Centuries and restored in the Seventeen Hundreds.

The portal contains elements of every refurbishment it has undergone, which is yet another illustration of the way history has been blended and documented in architecture over the centuries. Furthermore, the interior of the church, with its three naves, bears testimony to both the Renaissance and Baroque eras.