I’m back on Sicilian soil!
It was an easy flight and painful covid test.
Sicily requires an antigen test on arrival, and has set up an efficient and free site at the airport. I’ve only had one other test before I left Canada, but it didn’t bring tears to my eyes😳. At least I know now that my brain is negative for covid.
Then a quick bus trip up the coast to Taormina, supposedly one of the most beautiful towns in Sicily.
It is pretty, but I’ve never seen as many restaurants and gift shops per square foot. Prices are high and staff I’ve dealt with are just cranky.
Taormina is perched 200 meters above the coast below.
It was founded in 4th century BC, and was popular with the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans. It then became part of the ‘Grand Tour’ in the 18th century, and has been a go-to destination since.
Teatro Greco was built in the 3rd century BC
The hotel in the foreground has incredible views over the ocean, and is beside the Teatro and a lovely park. €529 a night for their cheapest room tonight! (Breakfast included)
Corso Umberto is the main walking street, and only flat street in town!
It starts at Porta Catania
And ends at Arco di Porta Messina
It goes past shops, restaurants and Piazza IX Aprile where there is a beautiful view down the coast
On the Piazza there is also the Torre dell’Orologio (12th century clock tower) and Chiesa di San Giuseppe (18th century)
The alleys off Corso Umberto go up or down, and lead to more shops and restaurants.
And I’m back in Sicily with the Moorish heads
Piazza del Duomo
Villa Commune – park with a view
Another park with a view of Isola Bella, which can be reached by cable car too
Badia Vecchia was built in the 14th century as part of the city’s fortifications and is now an archeological museum (temporarily closed)
Palazzo Corvaja contains another of the towers
I arrived by bus which was a trip up incredible switchbacks to the town! Good driver and good luck there was no one coming as he swung into their lane
The train station is located on sea level, so I went to check out how to get there on the bus. And to listen to the waves close by!
The train station was gorgeous!
Then an interesting trip up the coast to Tropea.
Bus + train + ferry + train + train = 5 hours
It was strange to be going through Messina again after 6 weeks!
As usual I’m checking with a local that I have the right bus/ferry/train.
Yesterday was a real gentleman who even made sure I went to the right train platform off the ferry. People have been so kind.
And then my apartment hosts picked me up from the train station because it was pouring rain, and gave me a tour of town in the dusk.
This morning the rain stopped and the sun started peeking through. The wind was wicked though. Temperature will be 14 today, and feels cold with the damp and wind. I’m wearing all my clothes! It was 22 in Malta.
Santa Maria dell’Isola is a medieval church on its own island that is now joined by a spit of sand
Looking back the town built on the cliffs
It’s a bit of a ghost town this time of year.
Fileja Tropease- fresh pasta with eggplant, tomatoes and the town’s famous red onion
And tomorrow is another trip north to Sorrento. Three trains with a change of station in Naples.
One week today I’ll be headed home. I’m ready for a haircut!