A charming town on the west coast of Sicily. They are perched, – quite gracefully, on the cliffs. It is not so far from Catania.
A waiter in Catania asked where I was going next. He was very surprised that I chose to go to Agrigento (on the east coast), if I was going to Taormina, that he could understand, but Agrigento?!
Well his tactics worked, I went to Taormina the same afternoon. And Agrigento later the evening, but that is another story.
A rare breed the Sicilians. Sometimes you can see the vulcano smoldering behind their eyes. Hard eyes, quick to anger and smoking practically all the time.
You can see Mount Etna in the distance from Toarmina.
The town is well kept and in souvenir shops you can still see some of the traditional goods 😉
Their island forms a triangle and they use a symbol with three legs reaching out to the three corners. I seem to remember it is on their flag as well.
Their history is so old and filled with many influences. The people of Taormina were formed from many different tribes, although the Greeks found the Siculi in residence when they arrived 734 BC.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediteranian and has always been important because of her resources and position. Being so important makes you popular and just about everybody was there.
The Phoenecians, from Carthage, were there and later the Romans ruled one side of the island. (Taormina was one of the first cities to be taken by them). The Punic wars started in Sicily if I’m not mistaken. It was Greek as well off course, Archimedes lived in Sicily, – they still have the most beautiful of all the Greek temples.
Because of their defensable position Taormina was one of the last cities the East Roman Empire held on to. But they fell to the Arabs in 908 after a two year siege. In 1078 the Normans invaded them and later they were under Aragon (of Spain). In 1675 the French besieged the town.
In short everbody who was anybody was there.
You can find wonderful things in these country towns, I bought cherry tomatoes from a little shop in the via Cappucini, just past the fountain. Never a mistake when you are near a vulcano, the soil grows the sweetest tomatoes.
Rather an amusing lot in Taormina as well. For afternoon entertainment at the coffee shop, we had A VERY upset gentleman wanting to park his car while I was having tarte Tatin. After he took the two filled plastic bottles out of the garage to keep the doors open, I just had to move my table a liiiittle bit out the way, so that he could turn into the garage. The poor guy looks like he has an ulcer from the parking problems he has to live with. And the car has more than a few dents as well.. And mean while the café owner gives an almost convincing performance, -nothing is wrong, this is all absolutely normal.
Well all I can say is life in the countryside is not always as quiet as it seems..
To go on, – the Romans left their usual traces.
In Taormina they also have churches..
And everything else I didn’t know where to put 🙂