Blogs from Taormina, Sicily, Italy, Europe


Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina June 14th 2019

June 10, 2019 Monday - Siracusa to Taormina - left June 15 We had decided it was time to leave Siracusa and head up the coast to Taormina (still on the east coast of Sicily) but even though we set the alarm for 5:30AM for a 6:30AM departure we always take one last look at a weather update (just in case). It still looked fine, but in fact if we were “real sailors” and not just travelers who sail we would probably wait until tomorrow as there is more wind, BUT we are also looking at the calendar and all the places we still want to get to and decided “let’s go today”. Our main sail and anchor was up and we were heading out of the harbor at 6:23AM – a good start. Once out ... read more
Dolphins Visited Many Times on This Passage
We Had A "Guest" For About 2 Hours On Our Bow
Views on Our Way - Notice Mt. Etna

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina May 30th 2019

INTRODUCTION TO 2019 MEDITERRANEAN DIVE TRIP Hello Readers…it is sunny and warm here in the Mediterranean. I am fifteen days into my 2019 dive trip. The holidays were over, ski season was finished, and the school year was winding down, and I was wondering when and where I would go this year. Then a Turkish friend at my Monday dance (recreational ballroom) extolled her beautiful summer home in Bodrum, Turkey. When she said she swam every morning in the sea, and often went to the opera, and plays I said, “OK…I think I will visit you this summer.” She was gracious and didn’t say she didn’t want company. I was half kidding, but soon I was seriously thinking about going. She invited me to lunch and we talked a bit more about me visiting her in ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina June 19th 2018

I will say that our tour guide was overly informative regarding Taormina and Castelmola on the island of Sicily. She, tongue in cheek, informed us that all Sicilian women DO NOT wear 100% black clothes nor do they all have mustaches! Also, there are Moorish planters EVERYWHERE in Sicily. The legend is that a Sicilian woman fell in love with a Moorish man. The Moorish man already had 7 wives. When the Sicilian woman found out his secret, she cut off his head and used it as a planter for basil!... read more
View from the Castelmola town square
High above the Sicilian coastline

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina March 25th 2018

Sunday March 25, 2018 - Of course it’s hard to go to sleep early on a Saturday night, even when you’re just home preparing for your trip. And of course you haven’t finished preparing for your trip because somehow you never learn. So you find yourself still awake at 11pm, knowing you have to get up at 4am AND daylight savings time starts that night, taking away yet another precious hour. So of course you wake up at 3:30 and can’t go back to sleep. I was on the tram by 5:14, waited 15 minutes for the bus to the airport and hungrily devoured all of the “driving in Sicily” materials I could get my hands on before I left. I was moderately terrified of driving abroad, and here I was starting in Sicily. Crazypants. I ... read more
Sicilian grandma snack
A wee bit of the view of the road I traveled
Entrance to old otwn

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina 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 ... read more
Naples (Uh-oh, we fly there tomorrow)

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina February 17th 2018

After a late-morning start, our first order of business today was to walk from our apartment to the public bus terminal on the other side of town, where we'll be taking several excursions next week. The tours depart at 7 AM, and our concern is whether we can manage to reach the station, which is about a mile away, in time to catch the bus. In fact, it turned out to be a longer and slower "slog" than anticipated, with several stretches of roadway without sidewalks, and it took us more than 30 minutes to reach the station. So we'll probably need to arrange for taxis on those days. From the bus station we continued walking to reach the Villa Comunale (Parco Duca di Cesarò), a beautiful public garden created by Lady Florence Trevelyan in the ... read more
A new angel gets her wings?
Teatro Greco
 Villa Comunale

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina February 16th 2018

Despite being awake for 24-hours-plus, sleep did not come as easily as we expected last night, so neither of us got more than five or six hours of shuteye. No doubt it will take a few days for our systems to adapt to the time change, but otherwise we awoke in good spirits without much of a travel "hangover". After one of Dee's delicious bacon and egg breakfasts, we were eager to do some exploring. It was a chilly 45 degrees at sunrise, but temperatures reached the upper 50s under clear, blue skies as the day wore on; ideal walking weather! We were out the door by 10 AM, walked through a small park that abuts our residence, and then located the series of sixty or so stairs descending to reach the main drag of Taormina, ... read more
Statue of Padre Pio
Castello Saraceno

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina February 15th 2018

Our 78-day journey began shortly before noon yesterday, as we flew from Daytona Beach (via Atlanta) to JFK in New York, where we boarded an overnight flight to Rome. The final flight from Rome to Catania, Sicily, touched down around 2:00 PM local time today, with a pre-arranged taxi service driving us the last 40 miles or so to our final destination in Taormina. With four separate legs to begin this odyssey, the connections in JFK and Rome were a little tricky, but all went well---even my lovely companion, aka "Airport Anxiety Annie" (see Dee's comments below), managed to stay on an even keel throughout the airport ordeals. Security screening was a breeze in Daytona, thanks to TSA Pre Check, and in Rome we were able to take advantage of a fast-track security check through Alitalia ... read more
Valentine's Day at Daytona Beach airport
Sicily and southern Italy
Residence Schuler

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina August 26th 2017

We wake up an email from Ryan Air telling us that we need to check in on-line for our flight to Malta on Monday. This includes a reminder to print out our boarding passes, and that if we don't we'll need to pay a 50 Euro fee each to get them printed at the airport. This seems like an awful lot of money to print out a piece of paper; the fare was only 65 Euro each. Maybe this is how Ryan Air makes its money. We don't usually carry a printer with us in one of our suitcases, so we're not quite sure what to do. We look through the Ryan Air website and are relieved to find that they also accept electronic copies of the boarding passes. Our relief is shortlived; the fine print ... read more
Giardini della Villa Communale
Giardini della Villa Communale
Giardini della Villa Communale

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina September 18th 2016

Day 8….. with the last bit of day 7 I’ve started doing these blogs on the day as for the next few days, I am leaving the ship early, (about 8am and getting back close to 6. Late yesterday, the PA announced that the entertainment, a juggler had managed to get to the ship, alas, his juggling props had missed the boat….. He lost his balls? Anyway, the nightly entertainment was hurriedly rearranged and they did the Hasbro game show instead. I’m not sure if the juggler has found his balls and is on tonight or not. Today we arrived at Messina, Scicily. It’s a lovely city although I only went through it fleetingly, and being a Sunday, I think most of it’s 240,000 inhabitants were in church (or getting ready for church) when we drove ... read more

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