Corvaja Palace (Palazzo Corvaja)
Palazzo Corvaja embodies Taormina’s history in a single building, and is a highlight of guided walking and Segway tours of the picturesque historic center, along with the lively Corso Umberto I, the Duomo and adjacent square, and the famous 2nd-century Greek Theater. Taormina is an easy day trip or shore excursion from Messina, Syracuse, or Catania, and many itineraries also include visits to Mt. Etna and the nearby towns of Giardini Naxos and Castelmola. Gourmands can choose a tour that pairs a visit to Taormina with a wine tasting or lunch featuring traditional Sicilian dishes.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The palace is located just off the main Corso Umberto I and can easily be viewed from outside with a wheelchair. Inside, the tourist information office on the ground floor is accessible to wheelchair users, but the first-floor museum is not.
- Architecture enthusiasts will be particularly fascinated by the blend of historic styles in this unique palace.
- Be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen if taking a walking tour of Taormina in summer.
How to Get There
Palazzo Corvaja is located on the corner of Via Teatrino Romano and Corso Umberto I in the center of Taormina’s old town. Reach the historic center from the train station in the valley below by catching a bus up to the town center.
When to Get There
Taormina can get unpleasantly hot during the midday hours in summer, so plan to visit the historic center in the cooler morning or late afternoon hours.
The Long History of Taormina’s Palazzo Corvaja
This historic palace began as a typical cube-shaped Arab tower, built in the 10th century as part of the city’s fortifications. In the 13th century, the conquering Normans added to the palace, enlarging the tower and building a new wing. The Spanish rulers later added yet another wing to hold the Sicilian Parliament, formed in 1411. The name of the palace dates from the 16th century, when it became the property of the prominent Corvaja family, who owned the building until 1945. Palazzo Corvaja was a residential apartment building for the first half of the 20th century, and was extensively renovated after World War II. Today, it houses the Sicilian Museum of Popular Art and Traditions, as well as Taormina’s tourist information office.
- Taormina Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco)
- Taormina Roman Odeon
- Santa Caterina Church (Chiesa di Santa Caterina)
- Taormina Cable Car (Funivia)
- Corso Umberto I
- Piazza IX Aprile
- Taormina Old Town (Centro Storico)
- Villa Comunale
- Taormina Cathedral (Duomo) and Piazza del Duomo
- Taormina Piazza Duomo
- Mazzarò Beach (Lido Mazzarò)
- Taormina Cruise Port (Taormina Terminal Crociere)
- Alcantara Gorges (Gole dell'Alcantara)
- Circumetnea Railway (Ferrovia Circumetnea)