Piazza IX Aprile is the main square of Taormina and, by far, the most beautiful one, located about halfway down the main street of the town, Corso Umberto.
The square is populated with many interesting monuments and, from its terrace, you can admire a magnificent panorama of the Mount Etna, the Bay of Naxos and the Teatro Greco, the ancient theater of the city. Characteristic are the outdoor cafés and the artists who draw caricatures.
The square is called Piazza IX Aprile because on April 9, 1860, during a Mass held in the Cathedral of Taormina, rumors came about the arrival of Giuseppe Garibaldi in Marsala, a town in western Sicily, to start the liberation of the island from the Bourbon domination. The rumors turned out to be false, and Garibaldi arrived in Marsala a month later, on May 9.
Before 1860, the square was called Piazza Sant’Agostino, after the Church of Sant’Agostino built in 1448 on the eastern side of the square, now deconsecrated and serving as the public library.
Another religious building located on Piazza IX Aprile is the Church of San Giuseppe, built in the 17th century. The church represents a beautiful example of Sicilian baroque. Of great beauty is the double staircase located in front of the entrance.
The most important building in the square is certainly the clock tower Torre dell’Orologio, originally built in the 12th century, but repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt over time.
HOW TO GET THERE
Because Corso Umberto is a pedestrian street, you can get to Piazza IX Aprile only on foot. The square is located about 450 meters away from Porta Messina, the limit of the pedestrian zone. For the precise directions, use the map below.
From the square, through Porta di Mezzo, upon which stands the Clock Tower, you can get to the oldest part of Taormina and the Piazza del Duomo.