Piazza IX Aprile Taormina

The Piazza IX Aprile in Taormina is located halfway the Corso Umberto I, the main street of the city. The most striking building in the square is the Torre dell’Orologio. The view includes the Greek Theatre, the Bay of Naxos and Mount Etna.

Piazza IX Aprile Taormina

History and description

Piazza IX Aprile Taormina
Piazza IX Aprile

Thanks to the gorgeous panorama, the Piazza IX Aprile is probably the most picturesque spot inside the city walls. It is here that street artists sell their paintings and it is here that you find the biggest concentration of outdoor cafes.

There used to be two churches on the Piazza IX Aprile. The building now housing the Municipal Library used to be the Sant’Agostino Church. Until the square got its present name it was called Piazza Sant’Agostino, after this church. The Sant’Agostino Church was constructed in 1448.

The square owes its present name to a historical event. For some reason, on April 9th 1860, a rumor spread that Garibaldi and his troops had landed in Marsala. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be true. One month later, on May 9th Garibaldi did land and proceeded to liberate Sicily from the Bourbons. The people of Taormina turned out to be rather stubborn and decided to dedicate the square to April 9th anyway.

The Saint Joseph Church, with its double staircase leading up to the entrance, dates back to the 17th century. It is built in an architectural style which is know as Sicilian baroque.

The most striking building is the 12th century Torre dell’Orologio. Since the arch underneath the tower used to be the most central one of the three city gates, the tower is also known as the Porta di Mezzo. The Torre dell’Orologio was often destroyed, but just as often rebuilt in the course of its history.

Piazza IX Aprile, Taormina