It is worth strolling through some of the steep back streets of Taormina, both to avoid the hordes of summer tourists and to enjoy alluring, quiet courtyards, cool nooks and the occasional cafè. You will find some of the best ristoranti and trattorie here too. Occasionally the alleyways open out to give great views out over the coast and the steep slopes of Monte Tauro. Wonderful little gardens, little more than collections of terracotta pots, invite you to linger.
Moving on to Piazza IX Aprile, you will find the square lined with two churches, the austere Sant’Agostino and the rococo San Guiseppe, and some trendy cafés. The piazza, which has exceptional views over the coast and towards Mount Etna, is the meeting place for Taormina’s chic set. Street artists are found here, often painting the Porta di Mezzo, a clock tower that marks the beginning of the town’s medieval quarter.
The town of San Gimignano in the countryside of Tuscany is one of Italy's prettiest towns. It also has a fascinating history - it once had 72 towers across the town. It is also home to world championship gelato... in case you needed another great reason to travel there!