Saturday, March 5, 2011

Taormina: the Theatre and Views

Taormina was founded by Greek colonists in 832 BCE. Sicily, as I'll probably have many occasions to observe, is a cross-roads of the Mediterranean, with indigenous paleolithic and neolithic populations, the Greeks, the Carthagenians, the Romans, the Byzantines,  the Arabs, the Normans, the Spanish, and more recently, the Italians, the Mafia, and the Japanese tour buses, all putting their stamp on things. The sun never sets on Japanese tour buses. Sicily endures, nonetheless. Taormina is one of the oldest of the Greek colonies, occupying a strategic site, and displaying the traces of all the passing conquerors. These days, it's quite the fashionable resort, even in March.
Photos of Etna in the PM were not so good from Taormina,
so here's one from the road our campground is on; morning;
Etna is 11,000 feet, dominates Sicily, is one of the
world's most active volcanoes, summit completely covered
in snow this time of year

The road from Giardini Naxos to Taormina absolutely rivals
the Amalfi road, at least for the short stretch; again, we
took the bus; this is one of many hair-pins, so tight there's
barely room to walk...

Most resorts have tele-cabins heading up to the slopes;
Taormina has them headed down to the beach

Anyhow, Taormina is known for many things, chief among
which are its 3rd century Greek theatre, its view of the
surrounding mountains and coasts, and, its long, beautiful
Medieval street (next post)

Theatre proscenium

The views: looking north to the Straits (the Italian mainland
on the right)

Looking down to the little cove and beach

Looking south, across the Bay of Naxos; our campground is
on the point

Looking west, to the Saracen castle and an even higher hill

It's a big theatre, remodeled by the Romans, now used for
summer festival performances


Looking up at the still-higher town

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