The Great Plotnik

Friday, November 01, 2013

Taormina 3, Catania 0

Taormina is a lovely jewel, a hill town overlooking the sea, with another hill town even higher that looks down upon it, and a Greek theater from thousands of years ago that they rebuilt in the middle ages but left a hole through which you can see smoking Mt. Etna.

"You don't have to worry about Etna," the shopkeeper says, "because he never stops. Vesuvius, that was bad, he shut up for 2000 years then the whole mountain blew up. Etna, all the time erupting, no worry."

We planned to stay two nights in Taormina, which is known to be a little jewel, and one night in Catania, which is said to be a dump, but when we saw the Pensione Svizzera we added one more night in Taormina and canned Catania. Everywhere you look, there is something else to see that is soft on the eyes and calming to the soul.

But we've been away from home for awhile now. Tonight I had a plate of fried potatoes for dinner and Ducknik ordered some grilled vegetables. We may have hit our pizza and pasta limits for awhile. We've drunk a lot of good strong Italian coffee too, a good doppio espresso macchiato or cappuccino at least three times a day.

Halloween was last night at home but there were no signs of it here. Today is All Saints Day, though, the continuation of Halloween in a Catholic country, so everything is closed and people from the prosperous northern cities of Rome, Florence and Milan are swarming back to see their families in poor southern Puglia, Calabria and Sicily. 

They drove the urn with the ashes of a saint named Don Bosco through the narrow streets of Taormina today. The shops along the street may be first world Italian Designer but the saint's procession is sixteenth century Sicilian folk tale.

There is no bridge between Sicily and mainland Italy. You still have to put your car (the train too) on a ferry from Reggio di Calabria to Messina, Sicily, then drive off and go about your business, do it again in reverse to go back. 

We've got one more day and a morning here, then one or two more cannoli for the road and it's on to Rome. I'll be ready for more pizza and maybe a little carbonara.


At 9:19 PM, Blogger Ira Fateman said...

How much do you guys weigh now? So much food and drink. Travel safely.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Linda Davick said...

The name Don Bosco stopped me in my tracks. What a great name!
he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth. He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment…


Post a Comment

<< Home