I’ve got a ton of posts to crank out on our family vacation to Sicily and Salzburg. I’m hoping to get my butt in gear. Here’s a quick peek at what I expect to cover:
- Getting There. Connecting In Rome And Using Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points Overseas
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Catania, Sicily
- A Return To Taormina, A Beautiful City On A Hill
- Exploring Mt. Etna
- Walking And Eating In Downtown Catania
- A Day In Siracusa
- Rooftop Dining At Primo Piano
- Priority Pass Lounge At Catania Airport
- airberlin To Salzburg
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Grand Salzburg
- Sound of Music Tour
- Walking Around Salzburg
- L’Osteria Restaurant
- Salt Mines at Berchtesgaden
- Cable Car at Untersbergbahn
- Tasty Donuts, Salzburg
- Train To Vienna
- Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Vienna, OMG
- Haus des Meeres: Aqua Terre Zoo
- Austrian Airways Lounge, Vienna Airport
- Austrian Airways VIE-IAD, Business Class Review
- Wrapping Up
Taormina is one of those cities in Italy that begs you to return. In fact, we did just that. We visited here when our daughter was 3, almost 8 years ago. On our return trip, when she was 10, we enjoyed it just as much.
Taormina is a “city” on a hill, located on the east coast of Sicily between Messina and Catania. A series of tunnels and switchback roads will get you there. Tiny roads wind through parts of the town, though parts are blocked off to just walking traffic.
Taormina is definitely a popular tourism site. There are a few larger parking garages further down the hill to accommodate tour buses. While it can be crowded, it’s still a joy to explore. Nowhere near as vast as Venice, there are still plenty of alleys to get lost in.
We spent a day wandering, shopping and eating. We picked a restaurant called Ristorante Graduca that overlooked the sea. I wouldn’t characterize the food as truly outstanding. But, it was a quality, well-priced quiet meal.
There are churches, street vendors and historical hotels. The occasional unbelievably narrow alleyway will take you to a hidden treasure.
There’s a cable car that connects the bottom of the mountain to Taormina proper. It’s a quick ride to get back and forth between the beaches and mountaintop hotels.
Our Special Memory
There are some walls that overlook the sea on one side of Taormina that hold a bit of a special memory for us. You can see some of the damage incurred during bombing raids from World War II here. The Excelsior Palace hotel overlooks the ocean, and beside it runs a small stone wall.
When we visited last time, I captured a great picture of Michelle and our daughter Catherine. This was back in the days before the iPhone. This picture is a conversion of the 35mm version I took back then.
It really was one of my favorite pictures of Michelle and Catherine. So, we hunted down that wall and took a few more. It was one of those fun memories of travel I hope my kids never forget. I sure won’t!
Taormina is a city I’d recommend to anyone who’s planning a Sicily trip. It’s a popular tourist stop. However, it’s never been completely overrun when we’ve been there. The crowds tend to be manageable, and it’s worth a day of exploration.
Stay tuned for one of our favorite treats in Taormina. A “must stop”.
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