The Tale of Two Fisher(men)

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Today was probably Frank’s favorite day of our whole trip – a fishing tour! We found a company that offered to take us on an authentic Sicilian fishing boat. Frank went down to check them out – and I think returned almost every day to ask questions. He was very excited. When we walked in, they all knew him.

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It turned out we were the only ones wanting to fish, so we had a private tour. Our leader, Jean Luc, who was born and has lived his whole life in Taormina, led us down the path that, in the old days, the fishermen took from the village down to the water, where their boats were tied up on the beach. It is a steep descent but with amazing views.

When we have gone to the beach before, we have taken the cable car. But this time, we walked down the whole way. Our destinations was a small lido (beach club) next to the beautiful Isola Bella, the little island right off of Taormina (where my favorite lady, Florence, lived – see prior post).

Captain Salvatore

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We met our captain for the day – Mr. Salvatore – on his beautiful wooden fishing boat.

He had everything set up for us – the poles ready to go with 4 hooks each and a cutting board with fresh shrimp ready to be sliced and put on the hook.  I have not really fished (I was being the loyal wife on this one!), so Salvatore baited my first pole and showed me how to lower the line and pull back in – all in Italian.

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And guess what? I caught 3 fish right away! After a couple more demonstrations, I was soon cutting up my own shrimp, baiting my own hooks, and throwing my own lines over. Meanwhile, Frank was loving the whole experience and having success with his own catches.

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When we needed a break, Salvatore showed us the secret spots among the rocks. We poked into little caves and Taormina’s own version of the “blue grotto.” We even saw red coral growing along the sides of the walls. Beautiful.

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What’s For Lunch?

But we had to be serious – our goal was to catch our lunch, which the beach restaurant would cook. We had caught a few fish, but they were pretty small. Back to work. We diligently fished for a couple of hours and caught at least 20 fish – but none more than 5 inches. Jean Luc assured us it would be ok – we would have these as just one of our courses. Whew.

Back at the lido, Frank and I sat down to a wonderful lunch with a view of Isola Bella and a bottle of white wine from grapes grown on the sides of the volcanic Mt. Etna. The restaurant brought our fist course – linguine with clams, mussels, and shrimp, which was the best we’ve had. Then – our second course – our little fish all fried up. Talk about fresh. And finished off with an icy lemon granite. Very romantic – and it turned out to be one of my favorite days, too.

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