Friday, February 02, 2007

Taormina Sicily – Hot Vacation Spot on the slopes of Mount Etna

Have you ever thought of playing a round of golf in the shadows of an Active Volcano? Think about putting on the 14th green, snow covered mountain slopes visible in the distance and continuous fireworks show sparkling over the peak of the towering giant. A cool breeze carries hints of salt from the early morning waves on the beach just below. Golf is not your game, how about an after-dinner game of tennis in the Mediterranean gardens on a warm summer night? Ok, I get it, sports and vacation is not your thing, how about a relaxing in an open-air arena, built in 200 BC, overlooking the peaceful bay with the wind in your hair and the sun warming your body? Still not convinced? How about strolling down the streets of medieval architecture chatting with local artisans presenting their wares created with the passion of ancestral tradition?

For those who have visited the Amalfi Coast or Montecarlo Taormina will seem strangely familiar. The city, settled in 396 AD, maintains the primary infrastructures and architecture built during the Roman Empire. Over the centuries Taormina, as most of Sicily, has been powerful and then conquered to again regain its prominence. In the 1800s Taormina was the favorite vacation destination of the American and European aristocrats, a colony of expatriate artists, writers, and intellectuals. D. H. Lawrence stayed here at the Fontana Vecchia from 1920 to 1922, and wrote a number of his poems, novels, short stories, and essays, and a travel book, Sea and Sardinia.

Today, the David di Donatello Taormina Film Festival has been held for over fifty years, with international film stars viewing films on a screen erected in the Greek theatre. During the Festival Taormina becomes a “one stop shopping” destination for the who’s who of cinema. This is a weeklong opportunity to hob knob at a local bar or restaurant with your favorite star.

Carnival in Taormina, usually the first three weeks of February, Friday, Saturday and Sunday have numerous events and parades. The final week of Carnival in Taormina translates to festive parties, feasts and costume balls.

Taormina can be expensive. This is more true in the peak periods as Taormina is one of Italy’s most famous destinations. It is extremely important to plan well and make reservations significantly in advance.

One of my spots is an antique home of nobility in the heart of Taormina, the Hotel Villa Taormina, The Sicilian garden is incredibly relaxing, this is a small luxurious residence of total Sicilian character. The atmosphere is exclusive, decorated with antique furniture in an original mix of Baroque, Neo-classic and Imperial styles with refined elegance. Villa Taormina, among the hotels in Taormina, is a hidden jewel. The hotel only has 8 rooms and is located walking distance from the primary destinations. Breakfast on the terrace is rejuvenating with fresh squeezed juices, fruit, and pastries consumed with a breathtaking view and a cool morning breeze.

Taormina is a great stop on a vacation initiating in Catania, visiting mount Etna and some of the great Agriturismo on your way to Messina. Take a few days and relax, eat foods from the local markets and pamper yourself in the fantastic taverns.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm sold :) Except the golf. I hate golf.

4:16 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Jennifer But the view is pretty great!

6:16 AM


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