Giardini Naxos is unanimously identified by historians as the first Greek colony of Sicily. According to official sources, it seems to have been founded by Theocles in 735 BC. and, since a group of colonizers from the Aegean island of Naxos also participated in this foundation, it is likely that the name of the city has its origin in them. In ancient times, the small but thriving town was of significant importance for its altar to Apollo Archegetes, a symbolic destination for the Greek ambassadors leaving for the motherland.
In 433 BC, during the Peloponnesian war, Naxos sided with Athens against Syracuse which, after the Athenian defeat, razed it to the ground in 403 and, by the hand of the Syracusan tyrant Dionysus, enslaved a large part of the population.
During the Roman imperial age Naxos was reduced to a simple village that was used for the changing of horses along the road to Syracuse, while, in the Byzantine period, the bay was revalued due to the strategic proximity to Taormina from which it will reach full autonomy only on January 1, 1847, after a long period of population growth.
In August 1860, Giardini became the scene of the expedition that made the history of the unification of Italy; it was, in fact, from here that Garibaldi and his troops, having concluded their military campaign in Sicily, left for Calabria to follow up on their operation.
Although, today, the primary activity of Giardini is essentially linked to tourism, since the 19th century the territory became the protagonist of various economic initiatives, such as fishing, the processing of wrought iron, vases and tiles, agriculture and production of citrus-derived liqueurs, a valuable cultivation introduced during the Arab domination.