We passed Catania and circled around Mount Etna, and stopped for a late lunch at a beautiful little town called Taormina. The town is regarded as a real 'Sicilian Pearl' and has heaps of history. It is set high on an outcrop of rock, and has winding streets and interesting little buildings and piazzas.
As a little tourist town, and with the old narrow streets, we had to park in a big parking tower down the mountain and catch a shuttle bus up to the town. The place was packed with tourists, so stopping them bringing cars and busses was probably a good idea.
The street leading up to the ampitheatre...tourist shops on both sides the whole way up the street.
We had a delicious lunch (although very expensive - this seems to be the Sicilian way!). We then had a lovely walk around the town and ended up at the ancient Roman ampitheatre. Through the coloumns you can have a super view of the smoking Mount Etna. It really was an amazing sight!
The stage area of the ampitheatre. Currently adding a modern stage platform in front of the columns.
Mount Etna in the distance behind us.
Some of the seating in the ampitheatre. Currently adding modern seating in some sections, on top of the ruins.
We then left Taomina and continued our drive around the coast. We had planned to make another stop (Cefalu) for ice creams and a sit on the beach, but Sicily is bigger than you realize and we probably bit off more with our tour than we thought! In the end, we decided to get back to the hotel in time for dinner and we then put in a straight 31/2 hour leg from Taormina to the resort.