Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Catania - Day Trip to Taormina

After more than two weeks of busing around Sicily we were able to take the train to Taormina (and back) for a day of walking in the hills with views to the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna. Taormina is perched 200 meters above the sea and its main drag it very touristic, but on this lovely low-season Saturday we found it very pleasant. But still not warm enough for a gelato. ;-)

Catania Station.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

I almost always find it a pleasure to ride the train, especially on a coastal route.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Even if I can't see Mt Etna because it's behind me. haha.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Taormina Station is labeled Art Deco by the guide books. Well, maybe. It certainly is decorated.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Ticket Booth - Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Taormina, Sicily, Italy

The steps from the station up to city center (200 meters) turned out to be an overgrown path.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

But the views were great.
Taormina, Sicily, Italygoin

Our outward route took us straight through town up to Castello Saraceno (400 meters) with a view to the Ancient Greek Theater (upper left-ish).
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

And continuing up to the small town of Castelomola (550 meters) with views down to Castello Saraceno and Taormina.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Small church in Castelmola.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

We returned via a different route; steps down through abandoned terraces that once contained olive and orange groves but now are overgrown with cacti.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Back in Taormina at the bottom of the steps/stairs.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Some shots of Taormina's corso (main drag). First Cantania Gate.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

The Cathedral and fountain. Today is the Saturday before Palm Sunday - notice the woven palm fronds for sale.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Inside the Cathedral.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

And after foregoing the ancient theater - 10 euros each seemed a bit pricey - we sat in the Public Gardens for a time, then headed back down the overgrown path to the train station.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Taormina Station.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

And back in Catania, a stop at the newly opened Istanbul Restaurant for a take-out dinner.
Taormina, Sicily, Italy

4 comments:

Liz said...

The 'path' between the train stain and town is beautiful wild flowers. Perhaps a consession for being so overgrown. The mosaics look beautiful.

jaydro said...

Just back from NOLA and so I had to look up what happened with you two on March 19th in Sicily, since that's St. Joseph's Day, honoring the patron saint of Sicily (where it's San Giuseppe). I understand that's also Father's Day in Italy? But anyway: no parades, huh? Not so in New Orleans.... :-)

john said...

@Jaydro, We were well aware of San Giuseppe Day, and naively thought we would just run into some celebrations, but we did not. Although we did see some posters for some special San Giuseppe masses on Sunday the 13th. Why the 13th not the 19th? Maybe because the 19th was too close to Palm Sunday? Hmmmm.

jaydro said...

In New Orleans I understand if it's ON Palm Sunday they do it a different day, but otherwise.... I just like how sometimes immigrants celebrate their native holidays more intensely than the people at home do (especially if they have competition?). We also saw lots of St. Joseph's feast altars in store displays. But--I didn't get many good photos because we were caught unaware--just on our way to get something to eat after our flight. :-/ Nice Good Friday photos in your later post, by the way. (In NOLA they did that on Palm Sunday, but it was part of an event with Tyler Perry broadcast live on Fox TV.)