8 May 2018

Sun., May 6, 2018 - On the Grand Tour, Taormina

Taormina Anchorage
Over the rooftops from our highest point - The castle of Castelmola to little Milly way below in the Naxos anchorage. 
Taormina is a delightful town, spilling over with tourists, in a spectacular setting!  Every plaque name drops the many celebs who made this one of their stops on their "Grand Tour" of Europe - writers, artists, actors, figures of states.  And it is easy to see why they came, along with the throngs of others we shared the narrow lanes and streets with.  We were happy to be here on the shoulder season!
Our hike took us to Taormina, the strip of buildings across the middle, to a church on the top of the first big peak to Castelmola, hilltop village perched on the top of the craggy hilltop on the far left.  Glorious! And then home again.

We hiked 17 km along roads, promenades, paths, and sidewalks, through a Roman amphitheatre, parks, a castle and towns.  All very steep inclines or similarly steep declines - strange how that works.

A 1635 fountain in the Piazza del Duomo.  She/he is a two-legged centaur with the bust of an angel.

Piazza IX Aprile.  We were on our way to the tiny cross on the left peak.

This GrecoRoman theatre suspended between earth and sky with Etna covered by cloud but there in the background is, reportedly and believably, the most dramatically located theatre in the world.  

Originally a Greek theatre dating from 3rd-2nd centuries BC, it was reconstructed by the Romans in the 2nd century AD to host some less civilized - in my eyes - gladiator competitions.
Milly is there.  

Teeny rock ceilinged chapel on left peak, castle on centre (we didn't get up there, have to go back), and Castelmola on the left peak.

From only a short distance up.

Castelmola, perched on the top of it's own pimpled cliff, looks like it would topple off in a storm, definitely an earthquake!

Beautiful in all directions.

And then there's Etna.

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