Blogs from Taormina, Sicily, Italy, Europe


Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina November 6th 2014

On any given night you can see stiletto heels strut down cobblestoned streets and jewels glisten against sun drenched bodies, not to mention the latest Dolce & Gabbana wear parading round the small piazza’s of this old Sicilian town. One might easily forget that there’s ancient civilization in Taormina from Arabic and Greek culture, not to mention a seething Mt. Etna. It took me about 11 days to finally start seeing some of these historical landmarks. I kept returning to the flashy Corso Umberto where the people watching is as stupendous as the panoramic views. Taormina, developed around Mount Tauro and maintaining the characteristics of both Roman and medieval worlds, has always been the most popular vacation stop for Sicilians. But the rest of the world is beginning to catch on this fiery resort leaving behind ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina June 6th 2013

On a world cruise we always end up in Europe in springtime. This is a great time of year to be bopping around the Continent. After spending weeks in the sandy brown hue of the Middle East, Italy looks like an Impressionist's painting. The vibrant colors of the Mediterranean are at their best in Sicily. We anchored in the shadow of Mt Etna and made our way up to Taormina, a small village clinging to the cliffside. If someone wanted to design a quaint Italian beauty, this could be the prototype. Our first stop was the post office. I had to mail a birthday present to my sister Judy. Apparently, Italy does not have large denomination stamps so the postmaster gave me 20 stamps each with a picture of the new Pope. Francis was just elected ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina August 20th 2012

Taormina is a charming hillside town on the east coast of Sicily, Italy and is one of the island's main tourist resorts. Whilst Taormina can be hot and busy during July and August, crowded with Italian tourists, it is far more pleasant and (slightly) less busy during the rest of the year. Many package tourists stay at the nearby beach resorts of Giardini Naxos (below Taormina on the coastline, some 3 km away to the south) and Letojanni about 5 km to the north.. Do see : - Teatro Greco - impressive open-air (mainly Roman(!)) theatre, with great views up and down the coast and across to Mount Etna. Entrance fee €8.00. - The Torre dell'Orogio clock tower.... read more
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Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina May 29th 2012

I awoke at 7:00 am, had a nice shower with plenty of hot water and water pressure. No AC here but it cools off around 5:00 pm. I was the first at 7:30 for breakfast, had the dining room to my self with Scubby Do on the TV. There was quite a spread… first I got American Coffee (with a large pitcher of hot steamed milk). Then a huge plate of food arrived: ham, salami, cheese, lettuce and tomato salad, and 2 spinach souffle cakes. On the side buffet was every kind of pastry imaginable, a bowl of chopped fruit, another of whole fruit, yogurt, granola, and juices! I made a sandwich with the leftovers from my plate, but did not end up eating it. I took the 8;45 bus to Taormina, about a 30 minute ... read more
Greek Theatre, Taormino
Beggar at the Church

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina April 25th 2012

Our first port in Italy was Livorno. This is the gateway to Florence, Pisa and Lucca. All of the tours to Florence were of the 8-10 hour variety so we opted for a ride to Lucca instead. This lovely Tuscan town, birthplace of the famous composer Puccini, is just the right size to be able to cover in a day. Lucca is surrounded by a wall which is as wide as a road. Visitors can walk the wall or ride bikes on it. We opted to walk so that we could go up and down into the town. We really lucked out since it was market day in Lucca. The market is set up along the city wall and runs for blocks and blocks. We circled the whole city and then went back to the market ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina March 25th 2012

Sunday - Agrigento and Enno We left Palermo and headed south to the Valley of Temples overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Driving south we followed the route Patten took when he was heading North with “recognizance in force”. He was ordered by Eisenhower to allow Montgomery to reach Messina first but Patten could do recognizance. Patten followed orders, sort of. He took his entire army north, doing “recognizance” on the way, met little resistance, reached Palermo and liberated the city. Another order reached him from Eisenhower. “Do not take Palermo”. Patten replied, “Should I give it back?” The landscape is dry and though it is green now, soon it will be brown. Now it resembles Ireland with emerald green grasses. Groves of flowering almonds and olive trees line the road. It is quite lovely. WE drove through ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina March 20th 2012

On Sunday we arrived in Sicily to a beautiful sunny day and Mt Etna had just erupted so we could see the steam! Very cool. A handsome Italian man was waiting to take us to our hotel ... Villa Diodoro ... situated on the cliff with a magnificent view from each of our balconies! Everyone went off to spend the day walking around the city. We all went different ways for dinner and shopping! Monday morning we met our tour guide, Maria Rosa, for our half day walking tour of Taormina. What an adorable city with the little streets and alleys, who much history! In the afternoon we all went for a walk down the very steep hills to make our way to the beach where we had a picnic with fabulous sandwiches and of course ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina March 20th 2012

Our group left this morning for our tour of Mt Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe which just erupted the day we arrived. It was an amazing drive all the way ... Well as far as we could go ... There was a ski area there that was open and we were abLe to climb a crater. SOOO COOL! We had shots from a shop owner of this red fire stuff that took your breath away! We were then off to our wine tour and vintners lunch. Our lunch started out with an amazing Antipasto then there were plates of pasta for us. We thought that was it ... But no ... We were then given plates full of meat with a fresh salad. Topped off with a bowl of fresh fruit which thankfully was ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina August 15th 2011

Monday 30th May to Sunday 12th June 2011 Monday 30th May 2011 Taormina/Letojanni Rest day as I now had symptoms of a cold as well as Tom. Tuesday 31st May 2011 Taormina/Letojanni Into Taormina to computer shop – but still no printer cartridges that I had ordered 3 weeks ago. Back to Letojanni village for a walk around. Started at the southern end of the village that we had not been to before and we found a shop that sold good beach chairs, snorkel and goggles, flippers and a towel - and they delivered them back to the campsite for us. Walked around some more, then back to the campsite to try out the beach chairs. The ocean had warmed up enough for me to go in for 5 minutes :-) . Finished packing up the ... read more
2.6.2011 - Puglia/Sorento
June 2011 - Puglia/Otranto - view of harbour
June 2011 - Puglia/Otranto - view of harbour

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina June 15th 2011

Our expectations for today were simple. No fancy shore excursions. We thought we could save $$$ and explore Sicily on our own. Boy did we luck out! A local guide directed us to a bus stop and for only 5 euros we had round trip transportation up the steep mountain to the enchanted little town of Taormina. It is most well known for its impressive Greek theatre that was rebuilt and expanded by the Romans. It is perched high above the Ionian Sea with Mt. Etna positioned as the backdrop to the stage. We learned much about the theatre and Sicily from an audio guide we purchased with our tickets to this archeological site. We also learned that this was the place/island of the cyclopes described in Homer's Odyssey. From the theatre we could see off ... read more
Theatre Ruins
Strait of Messina
Mt Etna

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