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Showing posts from January, 2015

Taormina ..... Victorian Follies

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The Villa Communale more commonly known as Giardino Pubblico (Public Gardens) is a must see when visiting Taormina, the much loved gardens are an oasis of tranquil quietness away from the buzz of Corso Umberto and provide's shade from the Sicilian sun. Situated on Via Bagnoli Croce there are spectacular views across Taormina towards Mount Etna and down to the bay of Naxos.
The gardens were created by a Scottish lady named Florence Trevelyan who chose to settle in Taormina in the late eighteen hundreds after falling victim to its charm. It is said that she was invited to leave England after a rumoured romantic entanglement with Queen Victoria’s son the Prince of Wales, who was to be the future King Edward VII.

She married a successful local doctor from Taormina and together they owned many properties and land including Isola Bella and Casa Silva.

Florence was a nature lover and was always accompanied by her beloved dogs and animals. Her will stated that her numerous animals should…

Taormina .... Beach Life

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Getting on board a cable car is always exciting!!! In a few minutes from the centre of Taormina you can reach Mazzaro’s deep blue sea otherwise known as Taormina’s seafront. Departure is from Via Luigi Pirandello a 3 minute walk from Porta Messina in Taormina, departures are every 15 minutes. So after a walk in Taormina why not end your day by taking the cable car and enjoy a swim in the clear blue waters of Mazzaro and Isola Bella.
Isola Bella is a beautiful island that emerges from the sea between Capo San’Andrea and Capo Taormina. It is accessed by steps leading down to an enticing beach and the little island is accessible by foot when the tide is low. The island is protected as a marine life sanctuary and is open to the public. The beach is mostly pebbles and stones, further to the end of the beach the stones are so big that if you find one big enough to sunbathe on you feel like you are on your own private island. There are a few cute trattorias down there for a bite to eat.

Scu…

Taormina ... The Greek Theatre

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One of Sicily’s most un-missable sights is the Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco) in Taormina. 
The Greek Theatre also known as the Ancient Theatre, is a magnificent example of architecture dating from the third century BC with a capacity of over 7000. It is the setting for Taormina Arte a major international cultural event offering music, opera and arts over the summer months. It is also the venue for the Taormina Film Festival held every year in June.
Nothing can prepare you for the natural beauty when you visit. Carved out of the hillside the theatre gives a full panoramic view of the Ionian Sea and coastline, Mount Etna and across the straits of Messina to the mountains of Calabria on the main land.
Though founded by the Greeks the existing remains are almost entirely Roman dating back to the first century BC when Taormina was under Roman rule and known then as Tauromenium, the Roman’s used the theatre for gladiatorial shows.

The theatre is the second biggest in Sicily after the Greek …

Taormina ... La Dolce Vita

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"Taormina is a landscape in which you can find all that seems to be created on earth to seduce the eyes, mind and fantasy" .... Guy de Maupassant in 1885

Taormina with its designer label shops and Michelin starred restaurants always attracts the glamouratti and with that comes celebrities. With Taormina being one of the Mediterranean’s best kept secrets, it is the perfect place to moor their yachts on the sparkling Ionian Sea and chill out.
From actors and singers to footballers and supermodels …. all have experienced La Dolce Vita here.
Taormina has long attracted literary legends such as D H Lawrence, who wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover here, Goethe, who compared Taormina to paradise, Tennesse Williams and Oscar Wilde to name just a few. Lady Chatterley's lover is supposedly inspired by the exploits of an English woman living in Taormina who had fallen in love with a local Sicilian Farmer.
Later in the 50’s and 60’s came the Hollywood legends Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietric…

La Befana ... Italy's Good Witch

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InItalian folklore,La Befanais an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy onEpiphany Eve, the night of January 5th, in a similar way as Father Christmas. Italian children get gifts from both Father Christmas and La Befana. A popular belief is that her name derives from the Feast ofEpiphanyor in Italian, "La Festadell'Epifania". Epiphania (Epiphany in English) is a Latin word with Greek origins. Epiphany means theFeast of the Epiphanyon January 6th. Some suggest that Befana is descended from the Roman goddess namedStrina. Legend has it that La Befana was approached by the Three Wise Men a few days before Jesus’s birth. They asked for directions to find the manger where he was, as they had seen his star in the sky, but she did not know the location. She provided them shelter for the night and so the Three Wise Men invited her to join them on their journey to find the baby Jesus. She declined but later changed her mind however she was unable to find the Thr…