[We resume postings about our 2008 Eastern Med cruise on the Oceania Nautica.]
Where in the world is Taormina you might ask? We had not heard of it either. If you have and know sort of where it is, congratulations! A hint – it’s near Mount Etna and Palermo… right, Sicily, on its east coast. Our small ship was able to take us to a small port like Taormina and what a treat it was!
You may recall that Sicily is famous for being the original home of the Mafia. But, did you know that it is the largest of all islands in the Mediterranean Sea and known for its arts, music, literature, cuisine and architecture? We were only there for a few short hours but saw enough to realize we would love to come back and explore the whole island someday. It’s a real paradise.
Our group boarded a mini-bus and headed for an apiary where we were introduced to the making of honey. We sampled a variety of delicious honeys with different wild flower flavours. They also sold Sicilian wines here too and boy were they a delight to sample! If you ever see a Sicilian wine for sale, go for it, you won’t be disappointed.
We then took a circuitous road route to near the summit of Mount Etna the highest peak in Italy south of the Alps, at 10,912 feet. It is one of the world’s most active volcanoes – but we were totally safe where we were. Its fertile volcanic soils on its lower slopes support extensive vineyards and orchards. A UNESCO world heritage sight with one of the strangest geographies we have ever seen.
We descended again to greener pastures and had some free time to roam around Taormina and do a little shopping. I hope you can see its quaint beauty from the pics below.