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Isola Bella

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

At the centre of a very nice inlet bordered by Capo Sant’Andrea, in Capo Taormina, there’s Isola Bella: it’s so close to the coast that, when the tide is low, it actually becomes a small peninsula.
Its name was chosen by the German Baron, Wilhelm von Gloeden, who made this island very famous also calling it a “pearl of the Mediterranean Sea” throughout the world.

In 1806, Ferdinand I of Bourbon donated this island to the Municipality of Taormina which, in turn, in 1890 sold it to Lady Florence Trevelyan, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of the mayor of Taormina, Salvatore Cacciola. The latter built a small house there and planted some exotic plants. After further changes of ownership, the island was purchased by the Bosurgi family in 1954: the new owners built a large villa magnificently blended with the surrounding landscape. The building was created with superimposed rooms and several observation points, connected by internal and external stairways, and fitted with stone vaults encased by iron wire structures.

In 1984, the Sicilian Region declared Isola Bella a monument of historical and artistic interest of particular value, subjecting it to thorough protection restrictions.
In 1990, the island was finally purchased by the Department of Cultural Heritage.
In 1998, a nature reserve managed by the WWF was established on the island; the same reserve was then run by the Province of Messina and it has recently been assigned to CUTGANA, the environmental protection centre of the University of Catania.
The island can be reached by train (Messina-Catania line, stop in Giardini Naxos).

FLORA AND FAUNA

On the island, there’s a 2.1-acre an area at 108 ft. above sea level which looks harsh and rocky but it’s full of exotic ornamental plants, favoured by the particular local climatic conditions.
Among the spontaneous species, there is Dianthus rupicola, Brassica incana, Scabiosa cretica, and, most of all, Limonium jonicum.
The terrestrial fauna, although limited, includes the red-breasted lizards which can be found only on this island. Several bird species can be observed, including yellow-legged gulls, kingfishers, peregrine falcons, cormorants, and sea herons.

TO DO

Do not miss the boat excursion departing from the island beach, which let visitors discover the famous Blue Grotto and several inlets.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Contatti

Via Pirandello 107 - Taormina(ME)

094 2628738

Altre info

Biglietto intero 4.00 euro. Biglietto ridotto 2.00 euro. Biglietto residenti nella provincia 1.00 euro

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