Here we are at day 15 in Messina, Sicily. It has all the appearances of being like many other ports we have stopped at, but today we will not be staying around. Taormina, Sicily, just a relatively short drive away, begs us to visit and who are we to argue?
A reasonable day as a somewhat less formal tour is on the plate. After a shower, shave etc. I take a split-second glance out the balcony window just to see what I could see. Hmmm…looks like another of those impressive personal flotation devices I have seen too many times. In fact, it is a passenger ship, registered in Italy. So not quite a ‘personal’ yacht, but for a 1992 vintage she still looks pretty fine.
Down to the International Café for a quick breakie of a MacDonald’s type sandwich and the requisite Café Cappuccino. I may be starting to enjoy these a little too much.
Into our pre-arranged mini-bus by 8:40 and off we go. The overall trip is about an hour from the ship, most of which is all along the coast. Cactus (of all things!) can be seen everywhere in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Taormina’s location also dictates a Lot of tunnels, some short and others surprisingly long. And all along the way Mount Etna kept a quiet, but ever-present, vigil.
After arriving in town, we had free reign to simply wander about. Over the past couple of weeks we have actually begun to master this particular technique. The weather behaved keeping us dry and not overly hot so our trek was a most enjoyable one.
Any trip to Taormina really should include a visit to the Greek Theatre, certainly a widely recognized outdoor setting, and second largest in Sicily. It has hosted a myriad of events including the award ceremonies of the David di Donatello (yes…named after THAT statuesque David. They may not be as universally known as the Oscars in Hollywood, but they are very much an integral part of Italian cinema.). Started around 300 BC, the sheer volume of material removed just to make room for this venue is staggering. Given the era, moving approximately 100,000 cubic meters of rock is a mind numbing achievement.
The afternoon has just started and there is still much of the town to meander through. Life here, like most places we have been lately, is filled with color, vibrance, an easy-going nature and most of all, history.
Needing a rest and a bite to eat, finding a purveyor of food and beverage seemed a good choice. Eating local has never proven to be lacking and if we’re too full to eat when we get back to the ship, oh well…
Octopus Burrata, Arancini, Spaghetti with Clams, Bruschetta, and Lasagna just seemed like a good idea at the time. 🙂
And no…we didn’t eat when we got back. It is an early day tomorrow with likely a lot more steps ahead of us. In fact, there will be 4 more days of exploration before our next sea day. No-one has given up yet, so the shoe mileage continues to add up.
Naples awaits and the weather looks like it may not be what we have grown accustomed to.