Taormina’s coast at Isola Bella

At the bottom of Taormina’s steep hill there are a choice of beaches and on our final day in Sicily we visited Isola Bella. We had been warned that the walk down would take about twenty minutes but that the return would be a killer climb for an hour. As it happened, we came across the funicular close to the Porta Messina that runs down to the shore and costs just a few euros. 2013 Jul 03_5510_edited-1

We sat with a lovely young man from Taiwan who told us he was heading for his favourite spot on the beach. In the space of fifteen minutes we learnt that because he can work anywhere, he spends his life globetrotting. Expecting to be told that he was some sort of technology expert or even a writer we asked what work he did that allowed him his beach lifestyle. His answer – he is a number cruncher! Apparently he does food statistics on a global scale, one of those strange jobs that people are doing being the scenes without us ever knowing. He was kind, respectful and quite happy chatting to we middle aged women, so we let him show us the way to the beach and then released him so not to cramp his style. 2013 Jul 03_5520_edited-1

The tiny island, you can walk across if the tide is out as long as your feet can bear the pebbles. 2013 Jul 03_5524_edited-1

We decided on a short boat trip, the water was crystal clear.

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The edge of the Grotta Azzurra which was a bit disappointing, I expected something a bit grander – but I was probably sulking because I couldn’t get a decent photo because of the heads in my way!

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Uh, what can I say?

It was a relaxing hour and the views were stunning of the coastline, the hills above Taormina and the ever present Etna. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re in the area and if you go prepared you can swim from the boat!

Teatro Antico Taormina . . .

. . . and some of the views from it!

The theatre was built by the Greeks and then re-built by the Romans, on the side of a hill overlooking Giardini-Naxos and Mount Etna. Originally it could seat 5000 and the Romans used it for gladiator battles, today it is still in use. We had just missed a film festival and the throne in the photo was for the next production, Verdi’s Rigoletto.  I can imagine that it would be mind blowing in this setting. Apparently Plato conceived his theory of forms in the amphitheatre, and it does have a feel about it that somehow grabs at the belly.

Sicily is full of antiquities, but if you go, visit Taormina and the theatre that is part of its ancient heart.

Taormina

I think this must be taken on the streets for festivals because it had long handles. It was inside St Pancras , a chiesa built on the ruins of a Greek temple of Jupiter.

From S Pancras

Just up the hill are the ruins of a small Roman Odeon.

Roman Odeon

Some impressions of the town

The beautiful Piazza 1x Aprile

Piazza 1x Aprile

I wasn’t very interested in going to Taormina because it’s such a tourist trap, but of course there’s a reason for that – it’s stunning! I’ll be back in a few days to share some more photos.

Bella bella!Farewell for now.

 

 

A bridge inTaormina

Sonel asks that we post a photo of a bridge for her black and white challenge this week.  I’ve just got back from Sicily where I saw this one above the Roman Naumachies, or gymnasium in Taormina.

Bridge at Naumachies

You can join in at http://sonelcorner.wordpress.com/black-and-white-photo-challenge/

Thank you all for your lovely visits while I’ve been away, hope to catch up soon!