Monday, February 15, 2010

Castelmola, Sicily

After we visited the 'Aci'-towns (Aci Castello and Acireale) we continued our drive up the Sicilian coast towards the famous town of Taormina.

We passed more trucks selling oranges.  At this point, I had a real craving for one of those juicy-looking fruits. 

We stopped at a road-side store and bought some mandaranci, which are essentially a cross between mandarins and oranges.  We ate them in the car and they were so good.  Sweet, juicy and tasty, fresh from the source.

And the scenery along the drive was not bad at all.


After about 40 minutes, Taormina and Castelmola, perched on the cliffs, came into view.


We decided to first visit Castelmola, which lay high above Taormina.  The road up was windy.  We had to park in a lot near the top as the road into town is open only to residents.  This was our ride while in Sicily - the Fiat Panda.


We walked up into the charming little town, and then climbed the steps to the very top where the ruins of the thirteenth-century castle remain.  I realize I didn't really take any pictures of the castle.  But the 360-degree views were spectacular.  

Looking down towards Taormina and Isola Bella.


And to the southwest, my first view of Mount Etna.  It had been covered up by clouds and fog all day and I had been on the wrong side of the plane when we landed.   It is the largest active volcano in Europe at 3,329 metres (10,922 ft) high.  I was overwhelmed by how big it was.  It towers over Catania and its surroundings.

One last look at the beautiful views and then we headed back down towards the town. There was an interesting bar that S visited 10 years ago that he wanted to take me to.   

Looking down towards the main piazza.  Isn't the mosaic pattern pretty?


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