Located roughly 60 km (35 mi) north of Catania, Taormina is one of the most popular touristic destinations in Italy. Taormina is settled on a hill of the so-called Monte Tauro, from which it dominates two stunning bays. Visitors arriving in Taormina can experience a very lively little town, where history and culture are preserved in a charming and relaxed atmosphere.
The easiest way to reach Taormina is to fly into Catania International Airport (Italy's third-largest airport by domestic air travel volume), and then take a 90-minute bus to Taormina. On weekdays, buses run in the daytime (6:45am to 7:45pm) every other hour; weekend schedules skip mid day trips. Tickets cost around EUR 7 (one way), and can be bought directly on the bus. Once in Taormina, the bus stops 400 mt (1/4 mi) away from the city center (Porta Messina). If you are staying at the conference venue, have a look at this map for walking directions (10–15 mins).
Some hotels in Taormina provide (for a fee) a shuttle service from and to the airport to their guests. You might also reach Taormina from the airport by car in an hour or so. Renting a car, however, is discouraged, as Taormina has severe traffic limitations—only residents are allowed to drive cars in the city center, and parking is limited. Should you nevertheless decide to rent a car, notify the front desk at the conference venue and they will direct you to a nearby unsecured parking lot. Please be advised that space is limited, and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
The cost of a taxi ride varies, with EUR 90 being a rough estimate. Use this spreadsheet to coodinate with other participants if you wish to share a taxi from the airport to the hotel.
Cheaper transportation might be possible by sharing car service. The SAT Finy group arranges transfer service between Catania Airport and Taormina.
You need a valid passport to enter Italy. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. A visa is not required for citizens of the EU, the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, and several other nationalities: you may check visa requirements for your nationality here. Visitors who need a visa should request a standard Schengen visa: for more information, see here and here.