Concierge.com's insider take:
Set on a hillside, the elegant Villa Ducale is the best bet for guests wanting Taormina without the crowds. Just a ten-minute walk from the center of town, this pink 17-room villa evokes la dolce vita, from the delicate wall frescoes and terra-cotta floors to the wrought-iron beds, antiques, and lush garden. All rooms have private terraces with gorgeous views of Mount Etna or the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel provides free shuttles to the beach and city center, and a buffet breakfast each morning on an expansive patio.