Prima Vigilia Noctis 
Concerts and tales in the churches of the old Roman road “Via Valeria”

Various churches of Taormina, from October 20th to November 4th 2012


In Roman times the street called Via Valeria climbed from the Spisone coast up to Taormina. Then it went through Taormina and returned towards the sea down the valley of the Sirina river. We would have found the Jupiter Serapis temple, the Baths, the Forum, and the Odeon, built on the ruins of the Aphrodite Greek temple, or the splendid Naumachie along this road. The noises, sounds, voices, and people of daily life during the day: the rich owner of the Domus (house) carrying out their business in the Forum among the amphoraes of many shapes, wine merchants shouting out the quality and good price of their goods in order to attract new customers while the sound of the potter’s wheel emphasized his ability to shape a new pitcher.
With a deep blue sky and a few torches in the darkness, Via Valeria would have had a unique atmosphere during the sunset of the la prima vigilia noctis (* 1) – which was spent working or talking.
The ancient street of Via Valeria has witnessed many changes with the passage of time: the Jupiter Serapis temple became St. Pancras’ Church, and St. Catherine’s Church rose above the remains of the Odeon. Palaces and other beautiful churches arose and the historic core of the city developed around them. So today we walk along Corso Umberto discovering different ages at every step changing from Arabic style to Norman and from Gothic to Baroque. What is more, we can only be enchanted along the way by Taormina’s Churches. Built through the ages, some of them were unfortunately destroyed or integrated into other buildings, while others were demolished but many are still used for worship and are open to visitors.
We are immediately struck by the Cathedral fortress, the Cathedral dedicated to St. Nicholas, while a glimpse of the medieval Varò Church is an impressive sight. Overlooking the sea, St. Joseph’s Church smiles and guides us along the road to St. Catherine’s Church. And before leaving Taormina, the S. Pancras Church greets us, the city’s patron saint.

* 1. The Romans divided the day into 12 daylight hours (from sunrise to sunset) and 12 hours of darkness. Consequently, the duration of each hour was not fixed but varied according to the seasons, daylight hours being longer in summer and shorter in winter, and vice versa at night. Both the day and night were then divided into four time periods: these hours of the day ended with the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth hours while the night were called Vigiliae (Eves). Prima vigilia noctis was from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm. From this division the early Christians introduced prayers to be recited at certain times of the day: the night office including Vespers, Compline, night, morning and praise, and the office during the day at the first, third, sixth and ninth hours.

PROGRAMME – Download

Saturday, October 20th at 7.30pm
Taormina Plectrum Orchestra
HERMANN AMBROSIUS  Feierlicher Reigen
ANTONIO VIVALDI Concerto in RE – 2° movimento
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Valse n°2 dalla Jazz Suite
PANCRAZIO GULOTTA  Suite Siciliana n° 6
GIUSEPPE VERDI Nabucco – Sinfonia
Illustration by Giuseppina Ponturo

Church of Santa Caterina
Sunday, October 21st at 6.30pm
Conservatoire A. Corelli of Messina
Antonella Cernuto, harp
GEORG FRIEDRIC HÄNDEL Movimento dal Concerto in si bemolle per arpa
FRANZ POENITZ Todestanz der Willys
PEARL CHERTOK Suite around the clock
Illustration by  Maria Costanza Lentini

Church of San Giuseppe
Saturday, October 27th at 6.30pm
Soloists of the Taormina Plectrum Orchestra
Alessandro Russo, mandoline – Aldo Filistad, mandoline – Elisabetta Monaco, lute – Ivana Rapisarda, mandoloncello – Alfredo D’Urso, guitar
PIETRO MASCAGNI  dalla Cavalleria Rusticana, Ave Maria
RAFFAELE CALACE Impressioni Orientali
PRIMO SILVESTRI Tarantella vaga
Illustration by Giuseppina Ponturo

Church of San Pancrazio
Sunday, October 28th at 6.30pm
Conservatoire A. Corelli of Messina
GOLDEN TRIO: Marta Arcodia, clarinet – Agata Feudale Foti, clarinet – Michela Sgambelluri, clarinet
W. AMADEUS MOZART Ouverture dal Flauto magico, Divertimento n. 4
PIOTR ILIC CIAJKOVSKIJ Suite dal balletto Lo schiaccianoci
FRANZ SCHUBERT Danze per tre clarinetti
 Illustration by Maria Costanza Lentini

Church del Varò
Saturday, November 3rd at 6.30pm
Soloists of the Taormina Plectrum Orchestra
Alessandro Russo, mandoline – Alfredo D’Urso, guitar
GIOVIALE Serate primaverili
CARLO MUNIER Capriccio spagnolo
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Adagio della sonata patetica
Illustration by Giuseppina Ponturo

Sunday, November 4th at 6.30pm
Chamber Orchestra of the Conservatorire A. Corelli of Messina
Salvatore Percacciolo, director
WOLFANG AMADEUS MOZART Divertimento n. 1 in re maggiore Ouverture da “Apollo e Giacinto” Sinfonia n. 6 in fa maggiore Ave Verum Sinfonia n. 24 in si bemolle maggiore
BELA BARTOK Danze Rumene
Illustration by Giuseppina Ponturo






Exhibition: I divi di Michelangelo Vizzini

San Francesco del Carmine previous church

From Friday 19 to Friday 26 October 2012.
Opening hours: 5.30pm – 8.00pm. Free entrance

Photo exhibition dedicated to the great Sicilian photoreporter Michelangelo Vizzini (1920-2009) who, in over 70.000 pics, immortalized the golden age of  Taormina when the Taormina Film Fest and the Davide di Donatello award used to attract the world jet set. La dolce vita “made in Sicily” come to life  in this exhibition and its over 60 pics.

Joan Crawford, Susan Hayward, Cary Grant, Warren Beatty, a very young Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, Gina Lollobrigida, Nino Manfredi are some of the names. HERE you can see some of these beautiful images.



 Michelangelo Vizzini   


Our Lady of Fátima in Taormina

From October 12th to October 15th 2012

PROGRAMME – Download the detailed programme (in Italian)

Friday 12th 
– 6.30pm. Arrive in S. Antonio Abate Church, torchlight procession and solemn Mass in the Cathedral.

Saturday 13th
– 11.30am. Holy Rosary;
– 12.00. Supplication to the Madonna;
– 7.00pm. Holy Mass;
– 7.30. Taormina Plectrum Orchestra.

Domenica 14th
– 11.00am. Holy Mass;
– 5.00. Projection of Fatima;
– 7.00pm. Solemn Holy Mass and chorus.

Monday 15th
– 10.30. ore 10.30 Flower homage paid by school-children;
– 4.30pm. Sick people meet the Madonna; torchlight procession along Corso Umberto, Taormina main street;
– 6.00pm. San Pancra’s Church. Holy Mass and leaving of Our Lady of Fatima.




An Italian man in New York

Palazzo Duchi di Santo Stefano, September 24th – October 9th 2012

Marco Tamburro originally from Perugia was born in 1974. He graduated the Art Institute of Perugia with a degree in furniture and architecture. He later studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan. Tamburro’s interest in the wide view of theaters com to life in his abstract representations on canvas.
Tamburro’s exhibition is curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta.

More info and potos on – +39 0942 620129 – +39 338 2777142 (mobile)



TAOBUK – Taormina Book Festival

Panoramic Terrace of the town library, piazza IX aprile


TAOBUK – 2nd Edition – Press Release

This year the event will take place from Saturday 22nd to Friday 28th September in the splendid setting of the panoramic terrace of the Taormina town library. The building, a previous church of 15th century, is right in the town centre and boasts a unique, breathtaking panorama, embracing the Ionian Sea, the coast and mount Etna.

The Festival is a tribute to Mediterranean culture and will host many Italian and foreigner authors who will present their latest works. The full program is available at this link:

More info at

Taormina Classica 2012 – Concerts

Church of Santa Caterina, 7.30pm – Free Entrance

34th Concert Season organised by the Almoetia Music Association, a local group founded in 1979 and dedicated to  chamber music.
President: Prof.ssa Teresa Salvato. Artistic Director: M° Antero Arena.

September 19th – Frank Wasser, Piano. Musics by Bach

September 23rd – Fabio Maida, Guitar. Musics by Legnani, Tarrega, Castenuovo Tedesco, Bach

October 4thDuo Crosta and Testa, Flute and Piano. Musics by Andersen, Popp, Offenbach, Borne

October 6thDuo Giambertone and Raimondo, Guitars. Musics by De Falla, Villa-Lobos, Castelnuovo Tedesco, Piazzolla

October 12thDuo Famiani and Leonardi, Viola and Piano. Musics by Schumann, Beethoven, Faurè, Liszt, Rota.

Download the program


Taormina Public Gardens, 9.00pm – Free entrance

“Da Lucio a Lucio” – A tribute to Lucio Battisti and Lucio Dalla

A tribute to the two great Italian singers and songwriters, Lucio Battisti (1943-1998) who is considered to be one of the best-known and most influential musicians and authors in Italian pop/rock music history and Lucio Dalla (1943-2012) the composer of Caruso (1986).

Music will be performed by: M. Samar & Two Wolves and their Vocalist,  Quintet of the Taormina Plectrum Orchestra, Federica Scalia, Simone Di Benedetto, Gabriella Cannavò, Santina Bartolotta and Katiuscia Fausto.
Dancers: Margot Fonteyn School in Taormina directed by Ambra Lo Turco and Studio Dance.Continuum directed by Salvo Cavolina Bonanno and Marilena Gravina. Speciale guests Giuseppe Lo Turco and Francesca Intelisano.

Background of the show, the sweet voice of the actress Anna Maria Raccuja.


Taormina Town Library, Piazza IX aprile

“1920-1950: Taormina and its surroundings ” – Photo exhibition by Gaetano Castorina

Hsitorical photographs of Taormina taken during the years 1920 to 1950.

Free entrance





Stay tuned!

Sptember 5th, 2012 – Taormina Greek Theatre, 9.00pm

Salvatore Accardo and the Italian Chamber Orchestra

The great Italian violinist and the orchestra will be performing musics by Fritz Kleiser, Nicolò Paganini, Gioacchino Rossini and Benjamin Britten.

Rendezvous with the Italian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the Maestro Salvatore Accardo and his magic Stradivarius. The programme includes music by Fritz Kleiser, Nicolò Paganini, Gioacchino Rossini and Benjamin Britten. The Orchestra, founded in 1996 by Accordo himself, is a string orhestra whose members all descend from the same school, reaching an unparalleled expressive, technical and stylistic unity. With his orchestra, Salvatore Accardo addresses both the public of the most important concert season and non-specialist listeners, especially young people, involving them in the rehearsals, talking about music, speaking of the characteristics of the orchestra, the violin, the orchestra conduction and the repertoire. The concert is organised by E20 of Marco Grimaldi, in collaboration with Taormina Arte.
(Source: Taormina Arte)

Stalls (Parterre): € 49,50
Gallery: € 39,50
Upper circle (numbered seats): € 29,50
Upper circle (non-numbered seats): € 22,50
Tickets on
Ticket Office in Taormina: +39 0942.628730

 Within the Bellini Festival

Greek Theatre

Antonello Venditt in Concert – UNICA Tour 2012

Antonello Venditti (born 8 March 1949) is an Italian singer-songwriter who became famous in the 1970s for the social themes of his songs.

Tckets available on and

Parterre: € 69,90
Stands: € 69,90
Tiers: € 59,90
Non-numbered tiers: € 39,90