At the very tip-top of the mountain overlooking Taormina is a little town called Castemola (the above picture was taken from our terrace). The view is breathtaking overlooking the sea and Mount Etna. We went there last year on the Hop On bus in the pouring rain, so felt like we should give it another chance on a sunny day.
This time – since we are almost natives – we even took the city bus. Yay for us!
We wound up the mountain on a very narrow road to the very top. Then we just wandered. Castemola has dark, narrow alleys that then open onto either shop-filled piazzas or vistas with amazing views.
We found my favorite shop from last year, where they make jewelry from lava found on Mount Etna. Here’s me with the jewelry designer, Valentina.
I spent so much time with Valentina that she offered to bring us to her brother’s restaurant for lunch – otherwise I’m not sure we would have found it. La Bacciola was in a delightful square with the duomo (church) and cafe. We ordered a pitcher (mezza litre) of Etna rosso wine and had a wonderful afternoon.
P.S. Later, we found out that our apartment greeter, Anne, walks up from Taormina to Castemola twice a week. We are incredulous! Anne has a good story – she is from Liverpool and came to Sicily 30 years ago with her girlfriend to visit. She came to Taormina on a day trip, met her husband, and has been here ever since. (We can see why!)