Taormina and the Smoking Volcano

Taormina and the Smoking Volcano

On my 2016 trip to Italy, we went to a town called Taormina in Sicily.  It was beautiful.  I could walk from one end of the other in 15 minutes.  There were shops all along the way.  No cars were allowed except for shop owners with deliveries.  We walked to an ancient Greek amphitheater and explored for a while.  The ruins of the amphitheater are to my back in the thumbnail for the blog post, and the town is the small cluster of buildings off to the right.

The amphitheater is pretty big.  You can climb into the stands and look down into the arena below.  You can explore some of the old hallways, and see the pillars.  It was incredible.  

On the opposite side of the greek amphitheater was a restaurant called Da Cristinas.  They have the best food I have ever tasted in my life.  We are planning on going back to England in a few months, and my friend and I debated flying in a day early so we could eat at Da Cristinas before flying the rest of the way to England.  It wasn't feasible, but we both seriously considered it.

I had a pistachio pizza.  They brought out two slices, with a heap of fresh mozzarella on top, prosciutto mixed in, and pistachios sprinkled on top.  No marinara sauce.  It was amazing.  While we were eating, we noticed a couple (who were from Canada, as it turned out) sitting next to us eating something that looked really good.  They told us it was called an arancini.  Arancinis are fried balls, filled with cheese or rice, or other ingredients.  Da Cristinas had an amazing selection of arancinis you could order.  So I got a ham and cheese, and my friend got an eggplant one.  They were also very amazing.  We tried some in Venice a few days later, and those were not good.  If you are going to try arancini's, I highly recommend trying them from Da Cristinas.

In the background is Mount Etna.  Now, I have never lived near a volcano, and up until just a few years ago, I had never actually seen a volcano in person.  So Etna is just there, sitting on Sicily, casually just spewing out a ton of smoke.  For a novice like me, that seemed alarming.  Volcanoes spitting anything out seems to be a problem.  However, no one else seemed concerned by Etna's antics, so I assumed (rightly) that we were not all about to die a horrible fiery lava death.  Spoiler Alert: we survived! 

It was amazing.  I would love the chance to see more of Sicily, and go back to Taormina.  I've heard Taormina has one of the best places to eat a cannoli, but we never found the place.  Maybe next trip. 

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