Taormina is located on a terrace high above the coast, overlooking the sea and the coastline, in a location that deserves all superlatives. The Etna is close but not directly threatening. The landscape setting is overwhelmingly beautiful.
Mass tourism has unfortunately discovered this place and ruined parts of its charm. Taormina is one of the posher destinations in Sicily, and rather touristy. The day we visited, the old town was invaded by dozens of tour groups from various cruise ships, all running after a guide holding a sign with a number. They reminded me of the duck herds in South East Asia who are conditioned to follow a flag. The narrow streets in town were more or less wall-to-wall crowded. Souvenir sellers and restaurants sniffed big business. I would like to revisit on a quieter day, if that exists.
My favourite memory of Taormina is the Roman theatre. The stage has a natural setting which is breathtaking. I abandoned my group and stayed behind, and spent an hour or more just sitting in the top rows of the ranks, looking at this panorama with Etna in the background.