Friday, 11 January 2013

Sicily - Taormina

The hill top town of Taormina is not to be given a miss whenever you are visiting the east coast of Sicily. Situated above Giardini with splendid views of the bay below, it has high street shopping second to none, a plethora of cafes and eateries to suit all comers, jewellers, hairdressing salons and small boutique style outlets to keep you looking and walking and stopping all day long. It has beautiful architecture in places, small piazzas and alleyways with hidden little gems waiting to be discovered. Don't just walk on the main thoroughfare, veer off and just follow instinct, you cannot get lost because you are on a hill top. Now how's that for a sales pitch?!
One more thing - it is Sicily's most visited area, together with Giardini - come and see it!

Giardini bay from the road leading to Taormina - Etna in the background
Ditto the above
We took the bus from our camperstop for the 20 minute ride to the terminus at Taormina, a scenic ride along the Giardini promenade following the beach, up the hill until you reach the terminus. Another 10 minute walk gets you to the main all pedestrian thoroughfare. My first stop was at the Barber, old school men's salon smelling of Old Spice aftershave and leather seats. I had a 5 minute wait and then sat down to an easy going 30 minute haircut with people passing by and some greeting the barber with a quick 'Ciao Guiseppe'. Even a Nun from a local convent came in and said hello to us proffering a blessing .... ! We are in Sicily!
Main pedestrian thoroughfare
Fruit and plants at an alimentari (general dealer)
Residential alleyway
North African influence
Passage to an art studio
Terrace of the 5* Metropole Hotel - Mt Etna in the distance
Sunny piazza with a view!
Decorative balcony
Sunny cafes and eateries
Excavations with a tiny cafe at the top
Avenues and alleyways, uncrowded in low season
Enjoying a pizza with some local gals - and a cool Moretti beer
Our visit was uncrowded and leisurely over some five hours with a midday espresso on a lovely piazza overlooking the sea below, walking the alleyways and narrow streets as the whim took us, ending up at a tucked away restaurant / pizzeria frequented by locals with a sunny terrace. Very Italian and very local with very professional service. How's that for ending the day!

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