Via Valeria, from Porta Messina to Porta Catania (Km 0,800) - Corso Umberto
It's the most meaningful part of the ancient via Valeria,
console street which connected Messina to Catania. From the coast (Spisone) it climbed
along the ridge beside the St. Anthony stream up to reach the temple of Jupiter Serapide
and the northen gate of the town (MESSINA GATE),it went all
through the length of the inhabited area (UMBERTO PROMENADE) as
far as the southern gate (CATANIA GATE) and it went down
along the valley of the Sirina stream (the ancient Onobalas).
Via Valeria was the only street of connection for the ionic slope up to the last
century (when the SS. 114 was built). Around it rose the actual historical core of the
town with its civic and religious monuments:
VITTORIO EMANUELE SQUARE
Ancient area wherein the Agorà and subsequently the Roman forum arose.
In 1410 center for the Sicilian parliament. Restored in 1945 by the Arch. Arming
Dillon, who allowed to recognize three buildings of different ages at least among which a
Tower that rose upon the ruins of the Roman forum.
Church and Roman Odeon
Erected in the seventeenth century, upon the scene of the Roman Odeon, whose
ruins, which date back to the augustean age, are visible behind the church.
Roman Thermal Baths
Ruins of a thermal building made during the Roman imperial age with an elegant
Madonna del Filiere Church's Front
Built in the fifteenth century, it's characterized by a rose window and a portal
overhung by an arc enriched with minute decorations.
From Corso Umberto, on the left, coming on to via Naumachia you arrive at the
Naumachies, which are one of the most important Roman work in Sicily.
IX APRILE SQUARE
It's the most important square in Taormina, open toward the sea as the following
St. Augustine's Church
It was built in 1448 and in 1530 a convent was added to it. Now it's the center
of the town Library.
St. Joseph Church
Built in the seventeenth century with a bell tower "at bulb", it has
a merely scenographic character. Being it banked compared to corso Umberto, we enter
through a double stairway.
MIDDLE GATE (The Tower
It opens in the third fortification wall under the tower which was built between
the eleventh and twelfth centuries: from here the medieval suburb begins
Del Varò Church
It has an unique aisle and a bell tower. In the enterior we can look up to the
medieval crypt. Began in the fifteenth century, it rises in the medieval suburb.
Typical patrician palace built in the fifteenth century. The front courtyard is still
visible for the external walls and entry arc of precious execution.
What we can up to now see of the original construction made in the eighteenth
century is the principal front in Corso Umberto, close to the Mother Church.
It was erected under the kingdom of Frederic III Of Aragon, in the same period
in which the Cathedral of Messina was restored.
St. Dominic's Church and
The complex yard started in 1374 upon the ruins of the Rosso di Cerami' Castle.
The Church (destroyed by the bombardments in 1943) had a sixteenth-century plan, and so
the principal cloister, while the other cloisters and the bell tower were added in the
Fountain (in Cathedral square)
Erected in 1635, it valorizes the space of the Square with the dynamism of the three
concentric orders of steps.
Tower-Palace built in the fourteenth century. In Arab-norman style and Gothic.
Duke of St.STephen Palace
Tower-Palace built in the fourteenth century close to the "Porta del
Tocco" (Porta Catania).
Ex St. Anthony's Church
Construction at unique aisle with a small bell tower made in the fourteenth
century. Center of a permanent manger, in which we could admire many in miniature
monuments of Taormina.