I said I would share my travels to the charming resort town of Taormina and I never renege on a promise. So while I’m supposed to be slowing down, per doctor’s orders, I thought it was a perfect time to recap my visit to this relaxing part of Sicily.
Ooh, ooh, ooh, here we go. Where did we leave off in my last travel post? I think we were headed out of Cefalù for a two hour ride to Taormina. If you recall, this is a girls’ trip and I am vacationing in Sicily with my sister N, my daughter A and her friend M. Thankfully, A is at the wheel maneuvering through all the tunnels along the Sicilian coast and climbing the steep roads to the hilltop where our villa awaits.
A view from the top at Villa Le Terrazze
“OMG this is so gorgeous,” says A as she lets the porter park the car in a teeny tiny spot on the upper level at Villa Le Terrazze. After checking in, the manager carries our heavy bags down the staircases to our rooms. It’s clear we’re definitely going to get our exercise climbing up and down the steps.
Villa Le Terrazze is lovely — there’s a pool with lounge chairs, a breakfast buffet each morning, and a free shuttle to the center of town. Our rooms are equipped with a balcony, air-conditioning, bathrobes and slippers — I adore this amenity, I do, I do.
Touring Taormina’s main street
What do you think? Should we take the shuttle a little early, before dinner so we can check out Corso Umberto, Taormina’s main street? Yes, of course we should. We’re four ladies who like to shop. It’s quite touristy and the boutiques are expensive. Sounds like we’re going to be doing more window-shopping while we’re here. Oh, no, I’m already falling in love with the ceramic fishies that are on display in various ceramic shops. At $50 euro for a small one, it’s way too much to pay for bathroom decor.
In the Piazza Duomo, a local painter catches my eye. I’ve wanted to add to my Italian artwork. I fall in love with two medium-sized oil paintings and even have the exact spot in mind where they will hang in my living room. Hmm, hmm, hmm, I try to bargain with the painter. He will have none of my haggling and refuses to reduce his prices. It’s our first walk on Corso Umberto and I know there will be more visits to come throughout our stay. Will I cash out at the ATM and make an offer? Read on.
Speaking of reading, if you are planning a trip to Sicily, I highly suggest Rick Steves Sicily guide. It was updated in 2019 and is a helpful resource. His walking tour of Taormina offers background about all the historic sites. TravelTaormina also provides tips for visiting this part of Sicily.
Dinner at Tiramisu
Without reservations for dinner, the wait is an hour at the highly recommended Tiramisu. It’s going to be a long night and we might miss our shuttle back to our lodging. The wait is worth it. A and M enjoy pasta, and N and I, not wanting to eat too much since it’s late, share salad and eggplant rollatini with fresh tuna and raisin stuffing. It was so good, so good, so good.
Beach day at Lido La Caravella
We rise early the next morning. It’s hazy (because of the recent eruption from Mt. Etna) and hot. A perfect day for relaxing at the beach. The concierge recommends the Lido La Caravella Club nearby. For $18 euro, which includes transportation to and from our villa and beach chairs with umbrellas, we decide it’s worth the price. Taormina beaches have rocks under foot so we wear our flip flops (they do sell water shoes too). The water is so clear you can see the rocks below. There’s a convenient bar and cafe at the club where we have a light lunch with a view. We don’t want to eat too much. We must save our calories as tonight we are going for Sicilian pizza.
An evening stroll and Sicilian pizza
Showered and ready for a stroll, we shuttle back to Corso Umberto early evening for our reservation at Villa Zuccaro Pizzeria. Are you ready to chow down on great pizza? How many slices can you eat? You want to order some antipasto first? Sure! That pizza was so good, so good, so good. My tummy is so full. No gelato for me tonight. Zuccaro’s sister restaurant La Napoletana also has amazing pizza but they don’t take reservations. We’ll have to hit them up another time.
Ooh, ooh, ooh, before I sign off for the evening I don’t want to forget to tell you that before dinner I took a stroll back to the courtyard and bought the two oil paintings from the local painter. Yup, I did it. I really, really, really wanted those paintings. After being framed at Michael’s, they now hang in my living room and are a constant reminder of my time in Sicily.
Coming soon — a tour of Mt. Etna
Tomorrow we will tour Mt. Etna. I don’t know about you but I need to build up my strength before I take you on a trek up and down the mountains. I’m going to relax now. You should too as you’re going to need your rest to make the climb.
P.S. In case you missed my posts about the London part of my trip and my Sicily posts from Palermo and Cefalù, links are below: