Living in the Shadow of Mt. Etna | Taormina
Jason Daniel Shaw
TAORMINA | SICILY
Taormina is a hilltop town that sits along the coast of Sicily, in the shadow of Mt. Etna. Before visiting, I had done zero research on Taormina. I did not even realize that it sat in the mountains until we were at the base of the mountain and the GPS said to head up the hill. All I knew was that it was a popular spot to visit and so we added it to the list. As we were driving up the twisty, winding roads, it became completely clear why it was so popular. The views were amazing, the hills were steep and Taormina was just amazing.
MT. ETNA | SICILY
If you have been following along with our wedding/honeymoon trip, you will have seen our trip to Ortigia. From there, we drove up the eastern coast of Sicily to Taormina with the views getting better and better the further north we went. Mt. Etna, still capped in snow, started off as a small pointy mountain on the horizon, eventually towering over us the closer we got. Driving up the mountain roads that lead to Taormina was an interesting experience in itself, very narrow with lots of twists and turns.
Once at the top, the views along the coast were absolutely incredible. We checked into the Taormina Park Hotel and once again were fortunate enough to get a beautiful balcony with an even more incredible view of the coast and Mt. Etna. There was a pool and to Amanda’s joy, a treadmill outside, under a trellis, overlooking the ocean. She had already made plans to wake up early the next morning and spend some quality time there.
The nature of these hilltop towns is steep, narrow streets, lined with shops, restaurants and homes. It is a great place to explore and occasionally you will come to a central square with a view of the ocean below that reminds you why they built these towns where they did. Taormina’s history is blended with that of the Greek and so there is a Greek amphitheater that sits atop the highest peak in the town. It is a beautiful place that the ruins are tastefully restored – not like a movie set but enough to give you a sense of what it must have been like when it was first built.
My recommendation is to visit Taormina, spend at least a few days and get lost in the streets amongst the beauty and the history. If you want to follow along with our 25-day wedding / honeymoon trip, you can see more of our adventures in Malta, Italy, the Vatican, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.