Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mediterranean Cruise (Part 6)

Buon giorno (good day)!! Hope you have enough energy today...because we are off to explore Sicily and Mount. Etna!
  (photo credit: Dr. John)
We arrived at the seaport Messina in Sicily. This was the famous statue at the harbor...This photo was taken by my daughter Stephanie in the early morning.
 First off, we went to explore the town of Taormina. It is a delightful medieval town, perched on the terrace overlooking the sea. From here you can see Mt. Etna!
We did some strolling in the town and discovered this chocolate museum shop! Can you believe that the displays were made with chocolate! I couldn't quite believe it even though I saw these art works (see that chocolate "dress"?) with my own eyes! I was so inspired by these intricate designs and patterns at the time that I missed stamping (LOL)! 
 The chef/owner proudly smiled for us!
 Taormina is very popular with tourists all year around. This little town has inspired photographer   such as Wilhem von Gloeden. Taormina's first important tourist was Johann Wolfgang Goethe who dedicated exalting pages to the city in his book entitled Italian Journey. Starting from the 19th century Taormina became a popular tourist resort in the whole of Europe: people who visited Taormina include Oscar Wilde, Nicholas I of Russia, Nietzsche (who here wrote his Also sprach Zarathustra), Richard Wagner and many others.  
(The Duomo dates back from 13th century-photo credit: Dr. John)
During the early 20th century the town became a colony of expatriate artists, writers, and intellectuals. I only wish we had more time to explore Taormina ... one and half hour was not enough do do its justice!
 And of course, during that short period of time of visit, we had to do some food shopping and sampling...I ended up buying some Oregano,  mixed Italian herbs and pasta! The kids were happy to get some Gelato! The chocolate hazelnut treat (see below in the middle) was so yummy!
After this lovely visit, we started our 1/1/2 hour bus ride to Mount. Etna--Europe's largest active volcano. We saw the remnants of the eruptions in 2002.
 It got colder as we went higher to the mountain....
After we reached the destination stop, it's time for a small lunch :)
 This was our scrumptious lunch-- Italian Rice Ball (Fried Risotto) and pizza!
 After that, we roamed around the rim of the craters.
 We arrived at Silvertri Spent Craters, almost 6,400 feet above sea level.
I felt so blessed to be able to be on top of Mt. Etna with my family. Life is good!

 Thanks so much for stopping by!

25 comments:

Barb said...

WOW!! I really love this post, V! The photos are so gorgeous - another AMAZING destination! :)

Greta said...

Amazing pictures, Virginia! What an experience!

Dawn Turley said...

Fabulous Virginia. This is one part of Italy I still have to visit. It is beautiful.

paula laird said...

Hi Virginia, Wow what an amazing place. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us. I can't get over the crisp blues, whites of the photos the snow & sea look amazing.

Taheerah (*LittleMissT*) said...

Looks amazing Virginia! Thank you for the guided tour. :-)

Sheila H said...

Your pictures are fantastic, Virginia! What a wonderful trip :)

Laura B. said...

Amazing! Lunch on a mountain!

Lin said...

Beautiful pictures today, V! Thanks so much for brightening my day today! I dream of visiting one of those little Italian towns someday!

Melissa Shea said...

Beautiful pictures! I think your lunch on the mountain might be my favorite because that's something I would only dream about! Thanks for the tour!

Harriet said...

Oh, Virginia....another feast for my eyes. Thank you!!!

Miriam Prantner said...

What a beautiful family you have! Etna is one of my favorite crossword puzzle clues.....it comes up at least twice a week!

Nancy K said...

hey there world traveler! i'm finally getting time to catch up on your blog and i'm so impressed! thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos, it's like being there with you and your family! take care, my friend :)

Laura Norris said...

So wonderful! What a nice trip you have had....

Gerry said...

Virginia, I especially enjoyed today's trip as my family originally came from Sicily. Maybe one day I'll get to visit in person. I loved the picture of the rice ball (called 'arincini'). I make these every year for Christmas. Keep taking trips and sharing with us. Thanks, Gerry

Leni said...

Thank you for sharing your photo's of Sicily, Virginia! We, my husband and I, were in Taormina for 14 days, and made a trip to the Etna too! We loved it so much. But it is 25 years ago. I hardly can imagine that....I see some familiar things! This is fun. Thank you for the oppotunity to enjoy a little bit with you. I always loved Italy!

rcwidow (Linda) said...

What fabulous pictures!

Loly Borda-Towery said...

Awww love your pictures! hanks for sharing your fabulous journey with us, you are right, you are so blessed and life is good.:)

Daša said...

I loved Sicily when I was there. Did you see Pompei? (hmmm I'm not sure how is in English :) )
Beautiful pictures!

Maureen Morton said...

Wonderful memories - will last a lifetime. You are so blessed, Virginia.

alexandra s.m. said...

Oh how I have enjoyed your post Virginia!
Thank You! I really felt like I was there, I could almost taste it ;-)

Suzanne said...

I've been seeing all these posts and loving your take on your trip because Eric and I went to lots of these places on our honeymoon cruise. The reason we took this trip was because of this stop in Taormina, which is where both of our grandmothers are from! (We joke that we are probably 5th cousins or something...) Anyway, I loved it here and thought it was so beautiful!!!

Wida said...

Did you have a tour guide? how did you know to go to these stunning places??

Rose said...

WOW such a beautiful place to be blessed to visit!!! and such a beautiful clear sky!! i would live there just for the clean air and of course the chocolate ;)

Kelly Griglione said...

The views, the chocolate art, the crater/volcano, all just amazing!! Thanks again so much for putting these posts together, Virginia!

Alice Wertz said...

such a beautiful place! it makes me happy just to see the pretty photos! you have such a cute family, Virginia! thanks for sharing!