Taormina

I woke up before the alarm went off, got washed and dressed before sitting on the French patio with a magazine watching Etna puffing smoky artwork into the sky. When Mr C was washed and dressed we had breakfast before buying tickets for the CityBySee open top bus. The next scheduled bus to Sovoca, our choice of destination wasn’t due to depart until 12.40 giving us a couple of hours to kill.

Rather than hop on the bus to go somewhere else first we chose the more leisurely option of walking in Taormina. We sat in Piazza IX Aprile square overlooking Mount Etna and the bay below. We then ordered a cappuccino in a small cafe overlooking the Church of Sant Caterina D’alessandria. The service was rather neglectful with both the menu and bill arriving late. We wished we had opted to sit in the cafe next door where we had received excellent service. Whilst we were enjoying our cappuccino, we watched wedding guests, the bride groom and lastly the bride arriving at the church.

Capuchin Convent & Catacombs

By now it was time to return to the bus station where we found the organising of people onto their correct buses was a bit chaotic. We were given earpieces so that we could listen to the commentary before setting off towards Savoca. Although it was an open top bus the plastic roof was fitted because rain was forecast later in the day. The sides were still open causing my hair to blow all over the place and some people to put their hoods up.

Once in Savoca, we followed signs towards a cafe only to find that it was closed. It was next to the Capuchin Convent and Catacombs where mummified bodies of rich and famous people from Savoca were on display in its crypt.

Church of San Nicolo

After that sobering sight we went in search of lunch. Mr C didn’t like the look of the first cafe so headed off unsuccessfully in search of another one. Luckily, I had seen a small bread shop where I thought we might be able to get a tasty  sandwich. We retraced our steps there and went in. We were offered some ricotta cheese to taste and then different bread options were brought out for us to choose from. The bread was drizzled in oil before the fillings of our choice were added, in my case the very tasty cheese. We enjoyed eating them part way up the hill that led up to San Nicolo’s Church. A sweet grey cat tried to coax some food off us.

Chiesa Madre

Ways of the Cross

Comfortably replete, we visited the church before continuing up the hill to visit the Chiesa Madre, perched on a narrow ridge. Stepping inside we found the atmosphere to be lovely and peaceful. We didn’t have time to walk up the nearby steps  to to the top of Mount Calvary with the ways of the cross carved into the rock along the pathway.

Savoca

We returned to the beginning of our walk via a different pathway before retracing our steps so that we could visit the Church of  San Michelle. This church although partially repaired is in a state of decay with a crowdfunding initiative in place to save the baroque interiors and fine wall murals.

Savoca

By now time it had started to rain so we headed back towards the only open cafe for a warm drink and waited for the bus to arrive for our return journey. As we sat waiting the rain got heavier. The last bus of the day arrived and my suspicions as we got off the bus earlier were confirmed. There would be more people wanting to get on the bus than there were seats. A tour where you can get off the bus and stay longer waiting for a later bus only works if the last bus is not full on arrival.

I kept my eye on the bus and after the new arrivals left the bus a couple got on. Mr C was inclined to linger in the cafe but I was insistent that we left and got on the bus. As we climbed on board the driver was rolling down the polythene sheets at the side of the bus to protect the bus and occupants from the rain. He then proceeded to wipe up the water from the seats. Chaos ensued, there were more people than seats. My worry was not about getting a seat, but if there were too many people would people get left behind… Hence my insistence to get on the bus early. Thankfully, after the bus driver counted how many people were on the bus and checked that everyone had a ticket nobody had to leave the bus. Although he did leave a few minutes early ;-)

Back at the hotel I chilled out with a Prosecco from the minibar before we dined in the Cuti lu Dissi restaurant. Due to the rain we booked this restaurant which was just a few steps away from the hotel. The quality of the food was good, although my choice of fish dish was not to my palate; it was topped with a strong flavoured cheese that overpowered the delicacy of the fish. The service left a lot to be desired, once again we were left unattended and had to go hunting for someone when we arrived, also to order dessert and again for the bill at the end of the evening.

When we arrived back at the hotel for a nightcap, sadly, we found that the usual bartender was not in attendance, it was his day off so we were served by the pool bartender. As we were sitting on the hotel terrace, once again (as we did by the hotel pool the previous day) we felt that we were a nuisance and shouldn’t be there. The tables around us were cleared and the lights turned off and taken away, leaving just ours with its solo gleam. However the seat cushions were left on all the chairs which cannot be said for a later evening during our stay…

5 Comments CherryPie on Oct 30th 2019

5 Responses to “Taormina – Day Eight”

  1. Ayush says:

    i think an eventful day for the two of you. it would not be nice to left behind. i am glad you woke up early and caught the smoky sight.

  2. What no funicular to take you up there?
    Outrageous! ;)

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