Taormina, one of Sicilia’s most lovely cities and definitely its oldest, lies on top of Mount Taurus. In our world explorations over the last 50 years, we found few nations that you can truly understand on a day trip. Sicily is one of them.
Our journey started from the harbor in Malta, a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, where we embarked the daily hydrofoil to Sicily. If we are not wrong the cost was under €70.00 for the daily tour counting transfers and lunch at Mt. Etna.
A bizarre twist of fate placed us in the front seat on the upper deck of the coach that was to be our home for the next 6 or so hours. As photographers we are sure we don’t have to tell you what a lucky break this proved to be as the photographs we were able to take from our prime vantage point are exceptional.
First stop on the journey in Taormina in Sicily and surely the one most advertised was at the world’s most famous active volcano. Here we must make a revelation; we did not climb to the rim like most of our partner tourists. This was not our first volcano and to quote an old saying once you have seen one volcano, you’ve seen them all! Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps.
Our journey through the Sicilian landscape was pleasant but gave no hint of what lay ahead. The remarkable city of Taormina, positioned on the peak of Mt. Taurus. Certainly one of the most charming cities this writer has had the chance to visit.
We sat at the roadside café and enjoyed our lunch looking at our accompanying day-trippers make their way to the summit and return. We duly purchased our volcanic rock articles from the gift shop and repositioned on the top of our coach for the next stage of the journey.
Every street corner was filled with art and artists, lovely open air cafés were on every corner and yet an air of make-believe existed, giving us at least the impression that we had just strolled into a picture.
We followed the signs to the ancient Greek – Roman theatre! Definitely the most essential monument in this antique city. This one-time pride of the Greeks and Romans is still to this day a sight to visit. Offering remarkable outlooks of the nearest countryside and the arriving cruise ships below, it still today delivers a site for staying artists and concerts. Records show that many of the columns and much of the original marble were detached by the people of Taormina in the building of their principal church.
We will long value our recollections of this old-fashioned town and of the most enjoyable few hours our day trip allowed us to enjoy. We hope one day to go back for a more relaxed amount of this valuable piece of history which has seen the Romans, Byzantines, the Saracens, the Muslims and eventually the Turks all place their marks until the arrival of the Normans in 1078. Appreciate your journeys and never stop to explore.