May 5, 2017 ~ 7:00 AM and docked in the port of Messina, Sicily for Taormina.
World leaders will be arriving here this week for the G7 Summit. Thankfully we were there first! Although the hillside town, located on a terrace of Mt. Mauro, was in utter chaos whilst in the throes of upgrading streets and public areas, and increasing security to accommodate politicians, the overall feel of this beautiful place perched in the shadow of Mt. Etna, Europe's highest volcano, was that one was still strolling through one of the most spectacular spots in the Mediterranean.
Looking across the Bay of Naxos from Taormina westward to Mt. Etna which erupted
in March and caused injuries to a BBC film crew and some tourists who were a
little too close to the summit.
Needless to say, we enjoyed the rumbling mountain from a distance!
Colorful streets - cafes for gelato, cappuccino, lemon granite, cannoli, beer,
prosecco, limoncello (the local lemons are gigantic), and so much more.
Fruit markets, jewelry, Italian fashion, weekday weddings, volcano peeping.
12th century Duomo has one of the largest astronomical clocks in the world in its bell tower.
The 16th century Fountain of Orion is located in the Piazza Duomo.
George and his mom, Michelle ~ Brisbane, Australia.
I first met lovely Michelle, and her charming husband Mark - sadly missed on this
trip - when a guest at their awesome country home in Queensland's rain forest
in 2012 - then again with them and their son George in California a few summers ago.
As I share the highlights of this trip I will of course be adding photos of our
wonderful group of friends. All eleven of us have met before and have
traveled together to some amazing places.
A typical jumbled Taormina alley with bougainvillea cascading, statuary delights,
and signs expressing mysteries within. . . . . .my kind of place.
Never out of sight - and sometimes looking simple and peaceful beyond the crowds.
Yes, that is snow and people do ski there in winter.
Personally I loved Mt. Etna and I hope the gentle people living on the slopes are
Next stop will be Palermo - founded by Phoenician traders in the 8th century BC.
Thanks so much for all your kind 'get well' messages.
We are doing just that and beginning to feel
almost human again.