Taormina Sicily

12 Dec

Our first visit to Sicily was in the spring of 2016. Len and I had planned a month stay, from west to east coasts. However, as we learned, March is not the ideal month as the winter winds nearly knocked us over.

Fast forward to last October. We met Benita and her friend Christina in Rome, flew to Catania, and headed to Taormina, a resort town Len and I had skipped on our last trip.

We arrived on a Sunday night to views from our room that were painted by the sunset.

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After a bit of unpacking, our first stop was one of Benita’s favorites: Pasticceria D’Amore, or pastry of love.

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On the menu – fresh to order cannoli, “filled at the moment”

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and then dipped in freshly ground pistachios. They certainly lived up to their reputation!

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Taormina is a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily, flanked by Mt. Etna, an active volcano with trails leading to the summit. The town is a heavily visited tourist location, but fortunately the monster cruise ships seem to depart late afternoon, leaving plenty of space to stroll leisurely and visit attractions.

The streets are filled with restaurants, bars and lovely stores of every kind;

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and the piazzas are filled with artists and musicians.

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Perhaps the best known attraction, and truly my favorite, is the Teatro Antico di Taormina. This ancient Greco-­Roman theater, built in the 3rd century BC and modified by the Romans, is still used today for concerts and live performances. (Click on any photo to enlarge.)

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Near the theater, cliffs drop to the sea forming coves with sandy beaches and always providing spectacular views.

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Checking online, we were able to find the less crowded times to visit the theater, and it seemed as thought we nearly had it to ourselves.

Another lovely and peaceful attraction, away from the crowded streets, is The Public Gardens of Taormina. The vast property was originally settled by Lady Florence Trevelyan, an English noblewoman and animal and nature lover, who married the Italian mayor, Salvatore Cacciola, and settled forever in Taormina.

The park and its views are peaceful and beautiful and provide welcome space away from the often crowded streets.

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Late one morning, we took the tram from the main town to the beach to visit Isola Bella,  also owned by Lady Florence Trevelya until 1990, and now a nature preserve.

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As it was very hot, we concluded our walking tour in a short time and returned to main town for lunch and gelato.

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As for food, Sicilian pistachio is king. You can get pistachio on, in, or over just about anything you can eat or drink…steak, pasta, cheese, seafood, coffee, liquors, etc.,  and we loved trying almost anything that included pistachios.

Pistachio liquor, creme, and spreads

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Pistacchio Gelato (their spelling!)

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Pasta with Pistachio Sauce

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Another favorite of ours was the homemade caponata, an eggplant dish, made a bit differently at each location, but always good.

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Our last night, we decided on dinner at a restaurant named Ferrara, that being my mother’s maiden name. No relation, of course, but the dinner and service were both great and a fun place to take a final photo of our time in Taormina.

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Ciao,
Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Responses to “Taormina Sicily”

  1. Connelly, Vincent J. December 12, 2018 at 11:07 AM #

    Great stuff

    Vincent J. Connelly

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jeanfromcalifornia December 12, 2018 at 1:47 PM #

    Perfect, Judy! I have wanted to visit Sicily since devouring every one of the Montalbano series but was unsure where to go. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly December 12, 2018 at 2:19 PM #

      Jean, just wait till you see my next post…hint: IL Commissario!

      Like

  3. Debra Kolkka December 12, 2018 at 2:34 PM #

    We loved Taormina and recognise all the places you went to. We were in Sicily in April and wildflowers were stunning. We were hit by fierce winds on the last few days of our visit, making things very unpleasant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly December 14, 2018 at 10:05 AM #

      I know, those winds are pretty fierce. Hope the rest of the trip went well!

      Like

  4. Judith Knotts December 12, 2018 at 3:53 PM #

    Thanks! What do I love most… the geography, architecture or food photos? Can’t decide!

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly December 14, 2018 at 10:06 AM #

      Thanks, Judy. When it Italy, hard to choose among those three!

      Like

  5. Chuck Faso OFM December 12, 2018 at 6:50 PM #

    Len and Judy – Grazie tante for the magnificent photos of Taormina. I have had the pleasure to visit that ancient town 8 times and hope to go again next September.
    You are truly living the travel dream! May 2019 find you well and full of energy to continue
    the travels until all your dreams are fulfilled. — Buon Natale! Buon Principio!
    P. Carlo Faso OFM

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Royce Larsen December 12, 2018 at 10:05 PM #

    Great coverage
    Enjoyed the dialogue and photography
    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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