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Published: February 28th 2018
As we conclude our 2-week stay in Taormina, Sicily, we might be inclined to lament the cool, rainy weather we experienced. Then we became aware of the snow and frigid temperatures covering most of Europe the past few days, and suddenly our predicament didn't seem so bad. Snow events in places like London, Paris, Rome, and especially Naples, are relatively rare. Hopefully we won't need snowshoes in Vienna in a couple weeks!
We decided yesterday to make a major, last-minute change in our itinerary - we'll now be staying in Sorrento instead of Ravello. Why the change? Well, the short answer is: 90 steps. For months we've been in contact with the pleasant young lady who manages the apartment in Ravello for her mother. She and Dee have been exchanging messages, and we were looking forward to meeting her. Just a few days ago, however, she inquired whether we wanted to hire a porter to carry our luggage, and when we queried her about the number of steps up to the apartment, she replied "90 steps". It was at this point that Dee and I yelled "YIKES"!
After some sober deliberations and discussions, we decided we could not manage
so many steps, twice a day, for 2 weeks. During the booking process for the Ravello apartment, there was no indication on its website listing that so many steps were a feature of the place, but I blame myself for not raising the issue before committing. In any event, what to do now? We decided to "punt". I was able to book an apartment in Piano di Sorrento, a stone's throw from the villa where we stayed with friends back in 2016. So we sent our regrets to the manager in Ravello, who was more understanding than I had expected would be the case. We were scheduled to pay her in cash upon arrival, after making a small 100 euro deposit via bank wire when making the reservation, so we did not suffer a significant financial penalty as a result of the cancellation. We're hopeful we can arrange a luncheon date with our Ravello lady so that we can apologize in-person.
Neither of us knew what to expect in Sicily, but we come away with memories of a place that has a rich and storied past. The influences of Greek, Roman, Arabic, Norman, Byzantine, Spanish and French civilizations have
left an indelible mark upon Sicilian culture, leaving behind a trove of artistic and architectural treasures in their wake. We were also struck by the magnificent and varied landscapes we encountered during our stay, from idyllic seascapes to rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges, not to mention the sleeping giant, Mt. Etna.
At 11:35 AM tomorrow we fly from Catania to Naples, a short flight of 236 miles, arriving there just before 1:00 PM. Our good friend, Francesco, will be meeting us in Naples, and then drive us to our apartment in Piano di Sorrento. Look for our next post in a day or two. Until then, Ciao!
Dee's comments: Farewell to Sicily! I'll miss this large "rock joint", full of tiny nooks and small streets, with lots of stairs. I'll miss the fabulous views, almond wine, cannoli, the history and legends of this country, and the wonderful people we met from Britain, Brussels and Berlin, Germany. Now it's on to our next adventure. Ciao!
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