Taormina, Sicily will host the G7 Summit in May, an annual meeting of seven of the world’s largest industrialized democracies, called the Group of Seven (G7). The group discusses issues such as global economics and trade, foreign policy, humanitarian issues, health, development and climate change.
This year, the leaders of all seven countries including U.S. President Donald Trump, as well as representatives from the EU and the president of the European Commission, will convene in Taormina with an agenda that focuses primarily on Africa, migration and refugees, health, and energy. Sicily was intentionally chosen as the host location because of its position nearest Africa and on the front lines of immigration into Europe.
A resort town sandwiched between the side of a mountain and Sicily’s coast, Taormina is a popular vacation spot. The city is known for its ancient Greek theater overlooking Mount Etna, the brick Teatro Antico di Taormina, which was built in the 3rd century BC and still hosts operas and concerts today. In the summer, Taormina hosts several arts festivals in areas including music, film, dance, and opera. Mount Etna is near enough for a day trip, enticing visitors with hiking, wine tasting and scenery.
Beachgoers enjoy snorkeling and sunbathing on the rocky coves of Isola Bella, an islet connected to Sicily by a thin sandbar via land. Another popular beach area is Mazzaró, which can be reached by aerial cable car from Taormina’s historic center.
The seven countries included in the G7 – the U.S., Italy, the U.K., France, Germany, Canada, and Japan – represent some of the world’s most advanced economies as defined by the International Monetary Fund. Together, they make up roughly 50% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Taormina is currently rushing to ready the city and venues for the summit, including paving new roads and upgrading the convention center. The event rotates among host countries every year; last year, it was held in Japan. It will be held on May 26 and 27 this year.
By Kathy McCabe