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Taormina

Taormina (täōrmēˈnä) [key], town (1991 pop. 10,120), E Sicily, Italy, overlooking the Ionian Sea and at the foot of Mt. Etna. It commands a magificent view and is a world-famous winter resort celebrated for its pleasant climate, natural beauties, and ancient ruins. Known in the 8th cent. B.C. and refounded by Carthaginians in the 4th cent. B.C., Taormina later flourished under the Greeks and then under the Romans. It was taken by the Arabs (early 10th cent.), fell to the Normans (late 11th cent.), and declined after the 15th cent. Of note are the foundations of several Greek temples and a Greek amphitheater (357 ft/109 m in diameter), rebuilt by the Romans, which is the second largest in Sicily. Nearby are ruins of a Roman theater, baths, and reservoirs. Among the many fine Arabic palaces, the Palazzo Corvala (14th cent.) is especially notable. The Convent of San Domenico, with its cloister, is now a fashionable hotel.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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