Worth driving up the mountain to get to

Trip Start Sep 03, 2010
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Trip End Sep 14, 2010


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Flag of Italy  , Sicily,
Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Sat Nav is no use when you try to get into Taormina, which is at the top of a long windy road and is full of one way narrow streets most of which are pedestrianized. A man on a scooter had to come from the hotel to rescue us and show us the way.
The Hotel Bristol Park is old fashioned and full of antiques and paintings. We didnt like it at first because we had to change rooms from a dark one at the back to a seaview room, which was then very pleasant as it had a balcony on which we could have preprandial drinks and a view over the town and to Mount Etna. It also has a pool and a garage which are essential.
The main sight seeing attraction in the town is the Teatro Greco, a 3rd century amphitheatre which is still used for concerts and has lovely views.
The Corso Umberto is the main pedestrian thoroughfare which runs from the Teatro Greco all the way along through a few pretty piazzas with some lovely small churches, which were all beautifully garlanded with white bouquets of flowers.
In the Piazza 1X Aprile is a great bar, which has a resident pianist in the evening and is terrific for people watching (especially for "new skirt" as my Australian son in law calls the short skirted, high heeled young ladies!) . It was also the best value for a bottle of wine after dinner.
Restaurants abound in the narrow streets leading off from the Corso Umberto and we had the best food here we have had for a long time in Italy. The blow out meal was at the Michelin starred Casa Grugno where the quail and pigeon were superb but wine is between 35 and 50 euros a bottle for the cheapest but it is all good. The worst meal was at Grotta Azzurra which was always packed but the waiters never looked happy and the service was slow and the food not up to the standards we came to expect. A great place for lunch was Il Baccanale- we went there twice and pizzeria Taormina, but you are spoilt for choice.
Close to our hotel was the Villa Comunale, which is a lovely public garden containing lots of flowering shrubs, a fish pond, angel sculpture and quirky buildings with no function but to look old as well as lovely views over the bay- well worth a visit.
We had couple of cloudy rainy days but when the sun was out we also lazed by the pool and thought about lunch and dinner!
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