Well – it had to happen. We sadly left our friends at the Villa Carlotta and moved across town to our new apartment. If anyone is coming to Taormina, we highly recommend this little hotel. It is small, with friendly service and a beautiful pool, and in a super location.
But it was time to become locals once again. That morning I told Frank that with a hotel, you have more predictability – they will have toilet paper, most appliances will work, and if not, someone comes right away to help. But they don’t have as much character. Renting apartments through VRBO or TripAdvisor can be a great deal – they are usually spacious and have loads of atmosphere, but also can be a little quirky. There is always something that is not quite right, so you learn to adapt. But we think it is worth it to be in the middle of things and feel like a local.
Casa San Domenica
Our favorite taxi driver, Salvatore (who drove us from the agriturismo), picked us up once again for our short jaunt across town. Since we still have a multitude of bags -including our olive oil and basil plant – we needed help. He drove up and around and right through the city gate – Porto Catania – onto the main drag, Corso Umberto. We unloaded, met our wonderful contact, Agneta, and hefted all of our bags upstairs.
And wow – maybe we will not miss the Villa Carlotta. We have a 3 bedroom apartment with stunning views on all sides and even a grand piano in the living room. We feel like we are in Greta Garbo’s Taormina.
Even better, we have an amazing rooftop terrace that is as big as the apartment. We can see Mount Etna, the sea, and the little mountain town of Castemola where we went in the rain. We can even see the Greek Theatre. The terrace is partially covered with a 6-person table that will be perfect for dinners al fresco at home.
And the Quirks
But as I said, living like a local does have its quirks. Agneta showed us around and pointed out that one of the stovetop burners only works on certain days – she has no idea why. She predicted that we would trip the circuit pretty often, so would need to run downstairs and out to the front gate where the circuit box is. And the air-conditioning units drain into jerry cans on the balcony, which we have to empty. Otherwise they will overflow and splash down onto the patrons of the restaurant below. Oh my.
Agneta left us, promising to check back in. We decided to go to the market and buy provisions for dinner on our new deck. As we were making our way back home, through streets filled with “beautiful people” dressed up for a Saturday night on the town, I realized I was holding a 12-pack of toilet paper, along with my grocery bag. I felt supremely proud to be a “local” once again.