Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Heart is in Sicilia...

Lui and I finally had our mini, overdue honeymoon in Sicily earlier this month. We stayed in Taormina (2nd time for me) and Modica. It was 5 perfect days of relaxation and recharging and has left a lasting impression on both of us and a HUGE desire to return soon...

We stayed at Bel Soggiorno in Taormina which is an old villa converted into a 3 star hotel. The hotel is a little out dated and sometimes noisey (our creaking bed - and not from us on our honeymoon! - was finally fixed by putting a pair of flip flops under it!) but the room was nice and clean and our terrace overlooking the sea could not be more fabulous. We had wonderful breakfasts each morning there overlooking the Ionian Sea. Paradise...

Taormina itself is Sicily's #1 resort (and one of the most popular in all of Italy). It has a slight familiarity to Positano, but in my opinion has more to offer. The village is set on a hill about 500 feet up from the sea. The main "boulevard" is the pedestrian only Corso Umberto I whic is filled with good restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, etc. It provides great people watching as well. For history buffs, the ancient Greco Teatro overlooking the sea and Mt. Etna. For the sea lovers, you have manny nice beaches to choose from. My favorite is Isola Bella (with lunch at Mendolia Beach club - yum!). From Taormina you can easily visit Mt. Etna, Catania (best with a guide), Siracusa, the Aeolian Islands, Savoca (where they filmed part of the Godfather movies) and more.

Our next stop was Modica and what a delight it is! The city was supposed founded a good 1400 BC, but was almost completely rebuilt in Baroque style in the early 1700's after a devastating earthquake. Many people abandoned Modcia in the 70's and now it is having a revival of rebuilding (in a good way). Many people from Northern Italy are settline there and starting business. Such is the case with the owners of our B&B, Casa Talia. Two architects from Milan fell in love with the city and decided to move there 5 years ago and open a funky little B&B overlooking the city. We also met a nice couple from Torino who had just opened a great wine bar in town called Modi and another group of people from Milan who opened a great restaurant called Le Torre d'Orientale. The town is filled with little alley ways and tons of stairs where you can explore chamring old buildings, many of which are for sale or are being restored. It's a real "up and coming" place. You are also less than 1/2 hour to some nice beaches including Marina di Modica and Sampieri. There is also Val di Noto nearby which is Sicily's answer to the Chianti region with less pomp and circumstance.

What really surprised me about Sicily this trip was how open minded and friendly the people were. I felt as if they were much more advanced socially and business wise than in our own Liguria. Although not a new desintation by any means, I have to say Sicily felt like it's the "next best thing" for visitors to Italy. In fact, I would go so far as to say, make it a separate trip all in its own. I have not spent time on the east coast (except Palermo) but I hear and know it has lots to offer as well. We're heading that way in the fall!

From here I'll let me pictures do the talking...









2 comments:

casacaudill said...

Ahhh, Sicily.

It looks and sounds beautiful. Incidentally, my husband's grandmother's brother-in-law is from there and the name Taormino still runs in the family. Several years ago, husband's uncle made a trip there, found the house his father grew up in, and was able to meet the extended family he never really knew he had. The funnest part of the story is that they knew who he was the second they opened the door - they had pictures of him hanging on the walls! You don't get that kind of family interest here in the states. I hope someday soon to be able to make the trip and will bookmark your b&b recommendations for later review.

kiki said...

Hi there! I love your photos. So beautiful. And your husband? Very cute. (this goes back to the eye candy thread on ST) hahah
Ok, my question is re: the last photo after the one in the series that begins with the dog (so cute). Where was that taken? It's the one that looks like a pic of a bay. It's so pretty.