It took a while to get back to writing, but now I’ve finally gone through the pics and I’m ready to share with you my travel experiences in Sicily! As I told you already on my last post, after Rome I took the train to Taormina which is one of the most popular destination in Sicily. The train ride took over 10 hours, and you could also fly from Rome to Catania airport to get there, but since the train went straight to Taormina where I was heading in Sicily, and the track was right by the sea… I can tell you, it was a train trip you will never forget
…so I arrived in Taormina- Giardini Naxos railway station on this sunny afternoon on Easter Friday in April, where my landlord Francesco was waiting for me. I was very lucky he was able to pick me up, the station is on the sea level and the city itself is on a hillside of Monte Tauro, so you need either a car or to take the public transportation to get there with your luggages. The place where I was staying, Casa Buontempo, was very comfortable and included also heating – something that I very much missed later on during my trip. Though Sicily is in south and usually already in April people might be on the beach in their bikinis, it can also get very cold if you have bad luck with the weather. The weather during my stay in Taormina changed very fast, few days were warmer and then few were pretty cold, so heating was well needed. And when I moved on to Cefalú it got super cold for couple of days before warming up again (and nope, in Cefalú I didn’t have any heating… ). So I suggest if you travel off-season or very early or late during the season, make sure you have the heating on your accommodation – it just makes your stay a lot more comfortable
The history of Taormina dates back to 700 BC, and you can very well feel this in the city though the paved main pedestrian street Corso Umberto is full of fancy boutiques selling all the possible high-end fashion brands you could think of. The town could be categorized as a bit of a posh one, and it’s very popular among wealthy Italians (and foreign tourists) during thee holiday season. In the Easter the city was packed, and I enjoyed a lot watching the evening passeggiata when everybody is dressed-up, and are were strolling along the main streets and piazzas. Usually, at this time of the evening at 7-8pm, I had taken my usual spot on this nice aperitif bar called Daquiri, which seemed to be very popular also among locals, and is definitely one of the best places for people watching. And the drinks weren’t that bad, either ;)
So it was the Easter weekend when I was in Taormina, and Easter in South-Italy is even more important than Christmas. Therefore, I had a great chance to see the religious festivities that included e.g. the Easter parade. The parade took place at Corso Umberto in the evening of my arrival, and the narrow street was so full of people watching the parade that I was hardly able to move. The parade itself included religious figures starting from Jesus statue to Santa Maria, music was played, and the crowd was surprisingly silent during the whole event. For me this was very interesting experience and gave me a better idea on how important part religion still is especially in south
Later on, I went for a dinner in this great restaurant close by to my flat, which Francesco had recommended to me. Tiramisú was its name, and it was as hectic as you could imagine it to be in the middle of Sicilian dinnertime (which is pretty late for most Finns, meaning around 9-10pm). I enjoyed a lot watching the waiters running around, taking the orders, and bringing the kind of food to the tables that you could only get when you are located very close to the sea. You could actually smell and see the freshness of the seafood, and my choice of having some octopus in balsamico as a starter, didn’t fail! Also the pasta dish, Pasta alla Norma (one of the most traditional pasta dishes from Sicily with aubergine, tomato sauce and salty ricotta cheese), was so good you need to try it yourself to get the picture. …and I really mean that you need to go there yourself to get the picture, cause I was so hungry and thrilled about the tasty dishes that I totally forgot to take any pictures in Tiramisú, haha! Sorry about that, good enough reason to go back there in future ;) After a great meal it was time to head to my flat, have a glass of Sicilian red wine as a night cap, and get some sleep before heading to Isola Bella and Castelmola during the next days of my stay.
…but more about those magnificent places later on, otherwise this story will end up being a book instead of a blog post! :)
Elämää Italiassa ja italialaisessa Suomessa: ruokaa, juomaa, ostoksia ja maisemareittien koluamista patikoiden.