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Taormina, Italy 2018
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In 734 BC, Greek colonists from Naxos founded Ancient Tauromenion (present day Taormina).

The Greek city of Naxos was on the coast, just South of Taormina, but it faded from history, having been invaded far too frequently. Taormina, on the other hand, which was situated high up in the hills above, was more easily defended. It therefore thrived for several centuries, even though it, too, was regularly assaulted and occupied by various forces.

It was the very last place in Sicily to fall to the Arab conquerors in 962 AD. In 1078 AD, Taormina was captured by the Norman Count, Roger I of Sicily. After that, it was controlled by various powers including the Angevins, the Aragonese, the Spanish and the Bourbons.

It was in the 19th Century that Taormina first became a fashionable tourist destination. Apparently, it had a tolerant attitude towards Gays, and prominent people like Oscar Wilde spread its fame throughout Europe.

This appears to be the studio of a local artist called Carlo Siligato. Taormina has attracted many artistic and poetic types ove the decades.
A remnant of the old city walls provides a gateway from the bus station into the old town. There are frequent buses which can take you from the railway station, on the coast, up to Taormina.
This trace of the Ancient Greek past was an "Odeion". Apparently that was the name given to places reserved for musical competitions.
This is the Ancient Greek theatre in Taormina. Unfortunately, Mt Etna in the distance was obscured by heavy cloud the day I visited. Not to worry, as I managed to photograph this active Volcano from Catania, which I will show in later pages.

Actually, Mt Etna is so large and so dominating a part of this landscape that you can see it all the way from Siracusa!

A friend of mine once told me that he was attending a concert in this theatre some years ago. The orchestra was playing a piece with which he was familiar.

He couldn't understand why there was an occasional drum roll which he knew was NOT in the original score. Then he realised that it was Mt Etna rumbling away in the distance!

This is a Hellenistic floor mosaic from the 2nd Century BC.
This mosaic potrait of the Madonna and Child is in a street, under an archway.
Not far from the bus station, there is a spot where you can see great views all along the coast. This is one looking towards the North.
This tiny island just below Taormina is called Isola Bella.
This is a view looking South. That looks like a Palazzo of generous proportions.
The house seems to be connected to a ruined tower.
Back in Taormina, close to the Ancient Greek theatre.
This is the Palazzo Corvaja in Taormina.
The Cathedral of Taormina, with fountain and horse water-spout. It had rained earlier in the day and the ground was still wet.

That was the very first bit of rain I experienced on this trip to Sicily. Most of the time, the weather was gorgeous. Goldilocks... not too hot and not too cold.

This golden bas-relief of the Last Supper was in the Cathedral.
"You can lead a horse to water..."
High above the town, the Castello di Taormina still stands guard.
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