Growing up my family had a grey Jeep Cherokee. One day, as my dad and I were driving down the highway he brought up the fact that you never really see white Jeeps. I thought about it and really couldn’t recall ever seeing a white Jeep. In the days and weeks that followed, it seemed as though all we saw on the roads were white Jeeps. They were everywhere.
We saw so many that it became a bit of a joke and each day we’d share the tally of how many we’d seen.
I feel like the same thing happened with Taormina. After booking our cheap flights to Catania Dave suggested that we travel a bit further up the coast to Taormina. Until this point, I had never heard of Taormina. But then, just like the white Jeep, it seemed to be everywhere. My Instagram feed was suddenly filled with photos showcasing the stunning cliffs, the amazing views and the gorgeous city. It was all Taormina all the time.
It was amazing. By the time we boarded the plane to Catania a few weeks later, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to explore.
We arrived mid-morning in Catania and promptly boarded a bus to the train station. After a few moments complete and utter confusion, we were able to buy our train tickets and a lovely stranger showed us to the right platform. Less than an hour later, we were standing on the platform in Taormina.
It was beautiful. The sun was shining, the ocean was various shades of blues and turquoise. It was exactly as I’d hoped it would be.
We weren’t staying in Taormina proper, but down the hill in Isola Bella, to which there were no buses, so we set out on foot. For over 30 minutes we walked in the blazing sun with our packs on our backs, up and down hills along the coast. I can’t say it was a strenuous journey, but it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park.
We got to our hotel, had lunch and a rest, and then we were back out on the street and ready to tackle Taormina.
The advertised gondola that would ferry visitors up to the town was out of service (had been for some time and it clearly wasn’t going to be functional for some time) so we made our way up to Taormina on foot.
Up and up we climbed, winding our way between houses, along roads, and climbing all 700+ stairs. It wasn’t an easy route, but it was more than enjoyable thanks to our interesting surroundings.
We didn’t do much that evening other than stroll the streets of Taormina, but we had a fabulous time. The town itself is quite posh — small cobblestone streets lined with high-end clothing, accessory and food shops. It was quite fun to browse amongst the elite.
The next morning, the skies had opened and the rain was falling. We knew the forecast didn’t look good, but we were hopefully the rain would hold off. But, it didn’t; so we hopped on the local tour bus and let it squire us around the area, from Giardini Naxos up to the terrifying Castelmola (which you can read all about here: Scaredy Kate Strikes Again: Castelmola Edition) and finally dropping us off in Taormina.
We took the afternoon to explore the famed Ancient Greek Theatre that more than lived up to its hype. The Ancient Greek Theatre was the place I was most looking forward to visiting, even though it had a steep price tag of €9/person. But, I was determined to see it for myself, so price be damned.
Located right near the entrance to the town, we walked up the hill surrounded by hundred of other tourists. I was all set to pay the fare when I was handed two free entrance passes (maybe it was a special occasion, maybe it was because it was a Sunday; regardless, I was more than happy to save my euros.
The Greek Theatre, like all of Taormina, is situated on a hill and offers spectacular views of the ocean, even on cloudy rainy days. We spent at least an hour roaming the grounds, climbing the streets and taking as many pictures of the view as possible.
As I said, the Greek Theatre more than lived up to the hype.
Although most of our time in Taormina was enveloped in clouds and rain, we still had an amazing time. Even without brilliant blue skies, it’s pretty hard to beat such a unique view.
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