Posted by: pizzainmotion | April 10, 2009

Italy-Day 3, 4, and 5

Due to some horrible internet connections (and a total lack of internet connection at one hotel), I haven’t been able to post in a few days. Here’s a quick update:

Day 3: We flew to Catania, which is located in the Southwestern part of Sicily. We stayed at the Sheraton Catania, and had an enjoyable dinner downtown. While downtown Catania was nice, the rest of it wasn’t. So, instead of staying two days in Catania, we chose to depart for Taormina in the morning, with the plan of staying in Messina the following night.

Day 4: We woke up super late after Catherine wouldn’t go to sleep. We were on the road to Taormina, arriving shortly after 2. Taormina is absolutely breathtaking. It sits high up on a hill overlooking the Ionian sea. A long ride up the side of the mountain yielded a parking garage followed by a traffic circle. Since nothing was well marked, we weren’t sure which direction to head from the traffic circle, and the navigation system was no help. We drove around a bunch of narrow roads, making two laps around what we figured out was Taormina. We finally found a parking spot and set out to walk the town. After some brief shopping, we ate at a recommended restaurant called Vecchia Taormina. We ate outside on the terrace, enjoying pizza, shrimp, lasagna, and a wonderful bottle of wine.

After lunch, we walked to one of the main squares in Taormina. As we looked over the stone wall to the sea below, what did we see? The parking garage we passed before circing Taormina for an hour looking for a parking spot! The city was right under our nose, and we had no idea. We had a chuckle over that, and headed back to town for more shopping.

We left Taormina as it was getting dark, heading to Messina, which was about a 30 minute drive. When we got there, we found the city to be much more industrial than we had expected, especially after our experience in Taormina. Since we had a pretty full agenda to accomplish in Naples and a long drive to get there, we decided to hop on the ferry to the mainland and get started early on our way to Naples.

Still to come is our visit to Pompeii yesterday and our arrival in Naples. Some pictures of the last few days:

The duomo at night in Catania:

Michelle and Catherine overlooking the sea in Taormina:

A good picture of the roads and sea below in Taormina:

Historic Taormina (shopping for Michelle and Barrie!):

Michelle wanted to stop for tea at a cafe, and we ended up having the best granita I’ve ever tasted. Now, it went so quick, there was no time to snap a picture. But on our way out the door, we saw them receiving a deliver of fresh oranges. Can’t get fresher orange granita than that!

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