The (Not So) Accidental Tourists

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Today we were on a mission. . .see and do all the things in Taormina that we hadn’t yet accomplished. So with tourist list in hand, we made tracks around town. Couldn’t resist the first tourist stop:

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Putting a few coins in his jar makes him come alive!

Next up, the Greek theater, site of the yearly Taormina film festival and summer productions. The views from the top were really quite fantastic.

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Nestled in the hillside near the theater is my school, BABILONIA. The land, buildings, and trees belonging to the school property are part of the same protected area as the theater. We ate lunch with students. The restaurant there provides good, cheap student-type fare.

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Next it was off to the public garden. What a lovely surprise, as it was a cool haven filled with plant specimens and war monuments. For me, I prefer the plants!

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We stopped by to visit my homestay hostess, Antonina, from last week. Sadly, she was not at home, but I’ll have a lasting memory of her smile and her kindness.

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After a granita at BamBar, we wandered into yet another street new to us. As we looked up at balconies, we were enchanted by the Moor’s heads!

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Back in our apartment, which now really feels like home, we began to pack and organize. We had decided to meet some friends for dinner at Castelmola, an ancient village perched high atop an outcropping above Taormina, which in itself is quite high up. We decided we’d watch the sunset and have dinner. What a delightful discovery. I later read that Castelmola is considered one of the prettiest villages in Italy. You sure won’t find any cruise ship tourist here!!

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That’s Taormina below us.

Dinner was two fresh fish, grilled to perfection and expertly deboned by Paolo.

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And I don’t want to forget I asciughi , sardine, antipasti. Honestly, i cant get a sardine past my lips in the US, but when they’re fresh and prepared correctly. . .gnam, gnam!!!

Back in Taormina, we continued our evening at San Domenico, a five-star hotel, formerly a monastery. One last drink with classmates Vera and Christiana topped off our Taormina tour.

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Walking home along empty, rain-washed streets, we agreed that Taormina is a special spot indeed. I will return to BABILONIA and Taormina, with its tourists, crowds, and glitter. We’ve discovered some hidden gems amongst the Michelin stars!

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Buona notte and arrivederci Taormina!

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