Mondello or Taormina?

Old Jun 10th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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Mondello or Taormina?

I've narrowed it down to these two cities for our visit to Sicily next year. We will have five nights; my partner does not speak Italian, and I am not fluent, but speak enough to get by.

I'm leaning towards Mondello because it is closer to Palermo (where my family is originally from, it's my first visit to Sicily) and there are some sights I'd like to see there (we will likely rent a car). Are the beaches of Mondello and Taormina comparable in terms of beauty? I think Taormina is a little more tourist friendly, would we have difficulty in Mondello? Are there good restaurants around?

My main question: Can anyone recommend a reputable website to rent an apartment ON the beach (would love to step onto a terrace overlooking the beach!)?

Thanks!
MissZiegfeld is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Taormina is more tourist friendly, as Mondello is more of a beach for locals in the Palermo area. As beautiful as the views are in Taormina it's a bit too touristy for a stay of more than 2 days (IMHO). The beach at Mondello is a large sand strand. Beaches of Taormina are a bus, taxi or cableway below the town, and are pebble beaches. Letojanni is a nice beach town below Taormina and has many apartments for rent. For another option check into Cefalu, about 45 mins by easy train east of Palermo. It's my favorite coastal town on the big island. Remember all three will be overrun with people July and August.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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I don't know about Mondello, but I have visited Taormina a few times from the nearby town Giardini, which by the way is very nice and inhabited by Sicilians.

Taormina is very beautiful and has some stunning views. You are right about the tourist friendly bit: after 10 o'clock in the morning there are friendly tourists everywhere. At the bus terminal the sign above the ticket office says "TICKETS" and below (much smaller) "Bigletteria". In a way that sums it up pretty nicely.

I'd definitely reommend a visit to Taormina for the views and the Greek theatre (and in the morning mind you, before the tour buses start arriving), but I'd never stay there, unless I wanted to improve my English (and/or Japanese, German, French etc.) or pay too much for everything except tickets out of town.

Even though I don't know Mondello, I'll chance a: "keep leaning" if you want to experience Sicily.

Eric
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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I love Sicily more than almost any place but I hope you plan to do more than beaches. With only 5 days, as much as I like Taormina, the beaches are not particularly lovely. I suggest Mondello which will provide better beaches and allow you to see Palermo and nearby Monreale. Sicily is a wonder and I hope you have enough time to get a taste of it - you will definitely return!
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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If you plan to go further afield - Erice, Segesta, wherever - rent a car, but please do NOT drive into Palermo!
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