Castelmola
14 Nov 2014 14 Nov 2014    Sicily, Taormina, Italy            L M S       
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After breakfast on this beautiful warm November day we hiked up to the picturesque hilltop town of Castelmola (530 m). The hike involves many, many stairs. It seems everywhere we go in southern Italy involves stairs.

Castelmola is a more substantial town than expected. sights include a church that is part cave, and there's a bar, a place where you have a drink, with a phallic theme of all things. In a small shop we bought a couple of colourful non-phallic ceramics to hang back home.

In the center of this very small town are remnants of a castle. Not much left of the structure but the views of the sea, snow-covered mount Etna, and the terraced hillsides make the hike worthwhile. And everywhere bougainvillea and lantana are in bloom. Lots of cactus, too.

Then we hiked back down to Taormina to check out Teatro Greco, a Greek/Roman amphitheater. It is carved into a hillside and features great views of the Mediterranean. Most places in Taormina have views.

From the Teatro Greco we hiked down to the beach at Mazzaro and then walked the rocky beach to Isola Bella, a small island just offshore. The Mediterranean water is crystal clear and people are swimming. We didn't expect such nice conditions in November so did not pack swim suits.

Our hike was not over. We climbed the stairs back up to Taormina, walked through a beautiful public garden brimming with flowers, then snacked on pizza and arancini at Da Cristina, a hole-in-the-wall pizza shop that usually features a line of customers. We ate there yesterday and found it good and cheap. I noticed, posted on their wall, a page from the NY Times of 4/28/2013 recommending Da Cristina. 

Finally, we stopped in a small store to purchase a couple of pieces of art that we'd admired the day before. Now we have to figure how to fit them into our bags.

Taormina has been a pleasure. Lots to see in such a small place, great views from almost every corner, pretty architecture, and plenty of restaurants and hotels .

One pattern we are picking up on in this trip is a lack of cuisine diversity. Not that we don't love Italian food but if you want something else the pickings are slim.

Tomorrow we head south to Siracusa.

 
 
 
 
Castelmola  +
 
 
 
 
Castelmola  +
 
 
 
 
Castelmola  +
 
 
 
Mt Etna from Castelmola  +
 
 
 
 
Mt Etna from Castelmola  +
 
 
 
 
Mt Etna from Castelmola  +
 
 
 
Mt Etna from Castelmola  +
 
 
 
 
Mt Etna from Castelmola  +
 
 
 
 
Mt Etna from Castelmola  +
 
 
 
Paul examining ceramics
 
 
 
 
Paul examining ceramics
 
 
 
 
Paul examining ceramics
 
 
 
Hike to Castelmola  ++
 
 
 
 
Hike to Castelmola  ++
 
 
 
 
Hike to Castelmola  ++
 
 
 
Taormina  ++
 
 
 
 
Taormina  ++
 
 
 
 
Taormina  ++
 
 
 
Taormina  +
 
 
 
 
Taormina  +
 
 
 
 
Taormina  +
 
 
 
Taormina at night and off season  +
 
 
 
 
Taormina at night and off season  +
 
 
 
 
Taormina at night and off season  +