ONE DAY IN SICILY (ITALY)


TAORMINA & MOUNT ETNA

We’ve visited the Island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea twice and had such an amazing time there … the magnificent diving spots, strolling through ancient cities, enjoying the beautiful beaches and taste Pastizz for the first time … wonderful memories!

We will share some posts of these holidays to you guys soon 😊.

But what about Sicily?

Sicily – depicted on a postcard

We were so tired after our three-week holiday in Malta on our first trip – you see, we don’t sleep while discovering new places – and were more than ready to go home to rest!

That was until we’ve heard of a one-day tour to the eastern part of Sicily … and quickly booked a tour with Malta Tours (and may I add, we normally don’t do organised tours, but we were so close to Sicily and who knows if we’ll ever get the chance again …)

And so, it happened that a representative from Malta Tours picked us up at 6:00 in Senglea in Malta and transported us to the port of Valletta where we’ve boarded the catamaran of Virtu Ferries.

The catamaran is equipped with a very good cafeteria and a small boutique/gift shop. After we’ve bought cappuccinos, we found our seats and enjoyed the 90-minute ride to Port Pozzallo in Sicily.

In Port Pozallo we’ve bought water, cold drinks and baguettes to enjoy while relaxing on our tour coach.

A very faint Mount Etna in the distance – taken from our bus on route in Sicily

Our first stop was at the small medieval town of Taormina, build on a mountain side and located 206m above sea level.

The houses are almost built into the rocks at Taormina

Taormina was settled by the people of nearby Naxos, an older Greek settlement, around 395 BC. It was built on the remains of a Sicilian city and is known as the pearl of the Mediterranean.

Taormina lives on tourism – their Greek-Roman theatre with magnificent views and its perfectly preserved medieval streets were a joy to visit.

The medieval streets and ancient buildings
Locals buying their fruit and veg fresh from a farmer

We were so intrigued with its multiple corridors and plenty of stairs that were leading to either houses or restaurants and cafés.

My favourite shops were the ones where all the sweets and pasties were exhibited – it was exquisitely crafted!

Beautiful (and delicious) sweets and pasties
Even the fruit and vegetables shop was a feast for the eyes
Another beautifully decorated stairwell leading to a restaurant

After a couple of hours exploring this medieval city, we were ready to have lunch. Our choice fell on Bella Blu Restaurant … I can’t really remember the inside of the restaurant, but it had an amazing view. We both had pasta and a salad … and I can tell you, it was the best pasta and salad we’ve ever had!! It was such a simple dish – pasta with tomato sauce and the salad consisted of only a few leaves – but the flavours were bursting in our mouths!

After one of the best meals we’ve ever had, we had another hour to spent in Taormina before it was time to leave this beautiful city.

The main thoroughfare in Taormina is Corso Umberto l. This street leads to the Piazza del Duomo, complete with a 13th century Cathedral and Baroque fountain.

The charming street of Corso Umberto l

There was a wonderful atmosphere in the centre of Taormina … artists were busy painting beautiful pictures of their surroundings, while men were singing songs we don’t know (but hey, it sounded so good in Italian 😁).

By now, it was time to get back to the bus. We took a few last photo’s to remind us of this beautiful ancient town called Taormina – we wish we could stay longer!

We were now on our way to Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna. The drive up the mountain slopes took us through picturesque villages and an ever-changing landscape.

Arriving at Mount Etna
People walking up the mountain

Our visit to Mount Etna took us 2000 meters above sea level and we’ve stopped at Silvester Craters, two inactive craters that were formed as a result of the Mount Etna eruption of 1892.

Unfortunately, our time was limited and we could not take the cable car all the way to the top of Mount Etna.

Views of the cable cars going to the top of Mount Etna

We’ve spent some time walking around at the foot of Mount Etna and appreciated the views of the valleys down below.

After a glorious sunny day in Taormina, it was quite cold on Mount Etna. We’ve visited the souvenir shop where Berto bought a stone originated from Mount Etna (or so they say 😉) … maybe we should have just taken one from the ground on our walks …

Etna’s souvenir shop

(Since our visit, Mount Etna had summit eruptions that took place in 2012, 2018 and most recently in February 2021).

Our time in Sicily was running out and we were now heading back to the port of Pozallo. We had, however one last stop … at a small café where we’ve bought ice cream! Yummy, what better way to end our day trip in Sicily than with the taste of delicious gelato on our lips!

Unfortunately, no photo of the delicious gelato … but next to the ice cream cafe, was a house with these lovely flowers against the wall … it became the picture that will always remind us of our day trip to Sicily

We’ve boarded our catamaran at 21:30, got two cappuccinos and settled in our seats. On the way back, we’ve watched the Disney movie Ratatouille (until today, this movie reminds me of our trip to Sicily ☺️).

We’ve arrived just after 23:00 back in Malta … exhausted after a jam-packed day filled with amazing memories. What a day trip we had in Sicily!

We have done this trip in July 2011

Categories: Uncategorized

42 comments

  1. Oh wow! How amazing! The views of nature and the view into their world! Fabulous. I know what you mean about not being able to sleep well in a trip😁👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun filled action packed day! Loved your photos, Some time I suggest you return to Sicily for a longer stay. We had two weeks there in June 2019 flying into Catania for the first week and then taking the train to Palermo for our second and return flight home. We also visited Taormina and loved it and spent another day taking the little train around Mt.Etna rather than using the cable car. Marion

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Marion, you’re itinerary is making me green of pure jealousy!
      This day was such a spur-of-the-moment decision … and we’ve promised ourselves to get back there (for much longer of course) to see the rest of beautiful Sicily! Thanks for the tips – whenever possible, we’re going back!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I need to go to Sicilia!
    It looks like everything I love about Italy, including the food…!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Sounds absolutely amazing. Definitely have to grab those opportunities when they occur. Wonderful photos and how exciting to visit Mt. Etna!! I love the staircases twisting away uphill…they look so intriguing. What a terrific experience

    Liked by 2 people

    • This impromptu decision was both great and bad … great that we could see these amazing places, but bad that we’ve only had one day! We have so many photo’s of those staircases – they are really lovely! We’ll definitely have to go back and do a proper tour of Sicily 😃.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I so know what you mean. I did an impromptu bus trip once in Italy. I was staying in Verona for a few days and took a one day trip to Sirmione in Lake Guarda. It was heaven and I so wished I could have stayed a couple of days.
        Sicily looks wonderful and I shall have to add it to my list. I also want to visit Malta…

        Liked by 1 person

      • We ❤️ Malta!! I would go back tomorrow (if I could). Although Malta is a very small island (27km long and 14.5km wide), it is filled with history … perfect for you to walk through 😁.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oooo 😃 you’ve been there! Amazing. Yes, definitely walkable. I didn’t realise though that it was that small…wow. I could do that in a day 🤭🤭 Time to plan…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, we’ve been there twice (3 weeks every time) and we always had something new to explore … that’s pretty amazing for such a small island. I mean, there are more than 300 churches and (I think) 4 cathedrals between Malta and its sister island Gozo … so, if you want to visit each one, your walk would actually take you very long 😃.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jeepers! 300 churches and 4 cathedrals?? On such a small island!! That’s incredible. Good to know coz Cathedrals are on my Project 101 list….so if I visit Malta, I can add 1 island and 4 cathedrals…definitely need to plan a visit.
        But I’m well impressed that you’ve been 3 times

        Liked by 1 person

      • No, twice…but 3 weeks each time…I need to read slower 🙃🙃

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha … your mind is going too fast for your fingers 😅.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You will have to go to the sister island as well (Gozo), but that is only a 20-minute ferry ride away for the other churches and one cathedral … absolutely well worth a visit for you to add to your Project 101 list!
        Yes, we’ve loved it so much, that we just had to go a second time (and will not say no to a third time 😉).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh definitely, I would absolutely plan a side trip. Its funny how sometimes a place just captures you, and you find yourself returning. My policy has always been to not return to a place (because there are so many places I still want to visit), so I usually spend a good 10 days if the destination is big enough, but there are a few places I just love, like Pisa…delightful and Porto…I so want to go there again and Valenca of course.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What beautiful architecture! Did I mention the pastries look SO good!!!!! Your trips are amazing, maybe I would fit in your purse?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Definitely have to add Sicily to one of our next trips to Italy!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. When you have limited time an organised tour can be a good solution I reckon! And your photos and descriptions have taken me back to a wonderful week we spent in Taormina decades ago and made me want to return. A beautiful town 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s absolutely true Sarah – there was no way that we would seen everything we did, if we were to organised it ourselves. I’m so glad you also had the opportunity to visit this beautiful place … so yes, it seems we will all have to return to experience Taormina again 😉.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your pictures of the narrow steps in the city with old stone buildings on either side. That’s what I remember about Sicilly, as well as the food of course.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. We were there a couple years ago..we started in Cyprus then Malta and on to Sicily. Loved our time in Palermo and Taormina. We had a great view of Mt from our hotel balcony.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Is all this reminiscing giving you itchy feet? Mine are certainly starting to wander….Thanks, Mel

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I am having trouble receiving notifications of your new posts, so I am going to click the button below and see if that helps. Bye, Mel

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Gorgeous! I had a week booked in Taormina last year, followed by another week in Siracusa. I was heartbroken to have to cancel it.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Corna, these pictures create a longing in my heart! I love, love, love old architecture, buildings within mountains, islands, seas, fountains, squares, flower boxes, artists working in the open air, . . . I guess you could say I love the charm of European cities! Sicily has been on my must-visit list for a long while, but it appears to be more beautiful than I had imagined! Thanks for sharing these lovely images! 🌞

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am telling you Lisa … it was a magical one day in Sicily!! We would go back now … if only possible 😔.
      When we’ve walked through Spain and Portugal, the amazing architecture and old (but amazingly beautiful) buildings found a forever place in our hearts 💌.
      Thanks for reading and your comments, much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Lovely photos! This post brought back memories of when I was there travelling through Sicily for 9 days – much to short. We drove from Calabria – was fabulous!

    Liked by 2 people

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