This was one of those ports that really exceeded our expectations. Before starting this cruise we had settled on visiting Taormina for the day. We walked to the nearest bus stop at the port and waited quite awhile for the bus. What we didn’t know was that you couldn’t pay the fare on the bus. We tried asking the bus driver where we could get a ticket but he flippantly waived us on to the bus and sent us to the back – we got a free ride to the train station. It took about an hour to reach Taormina by train.
After walking through the gate to enter the town, I just knew we were going to have a spectacular day here! Taormina sits perfectly on the edge of a mountain. It was founded in the 4th century and prospered greatly under the Greek ruler Gelon II. We started our visit at the Teatro di Taormina. The ancient greek theatre was built in the 3rd century. The views over the bay of Naxos are stunning!
We loved walking around Taormina, it’s a very pretty town. There’s a lot of little shops to browse through and a lot of little staircases…
During our walk we saw several points of interest. One of them being, the Duomo di San Nicola built in the 13th century.
The Baroque style Church of St. Joseph built in the 17th century.
The Naumachia, a large terrace that protects a now non-existent tank. The Romans held games here simulating historical battles.
Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria built in the 17th century.
The public garden of Taormina is a park built on different levels offering beautiful views to the beaches below.
Our time in Taormina went so fast and it was time to make our way to the train station.
Lucky for us we still had a bit of time to see some of Catania while the sun was setting. We headed straight for the old town.
We loved the Piazza Del Duomo with the impressive Fontana Dell’Elefante, the Fontana Dell’Amenano, Catania Cathedral and the Palazzo degli Elefanti – amazing architecture!
The streets in Catania reminded me somewhat of Buenos Aires.
Once the sun went down it was time to return to the ship. We truly enjoyed getting a taste of Sicily and we’ll definitely return at some point to explore some more!
Where we stayed: Holland America-MS Koningsdam-Mozart Deck 👍