One of the views from our apartment is of the very well-preserved Teatro Greco (Greek Theatre), dating back to the 3rd century BC. (You can see it at the top of the hill in the picture above.) It is one of the highlights of Taormina. It was perfectly carved into the hillside to have the best view of the sea and of Mount Etna. You can just imagine the Greeks – and later Romans – taking in a show overlooking this spectacular view.
The theatre is still hosting performances today. On many nights, it comes alive with theatrical productions and musical shows. Frank and I attended the Taormina Film Festival there last year (pictures are from that). This Sunday, the U.S. rock band Duran Duran is playing there. So the theatre still is in active use and much loved in Taormina.
We mentioned our trip to a friend, who had his own story of Teatro Greco. It was so good that I asked him if I could share on the blog.
Frank Florentine is a fellow sailor in Annapolis – and was the lighting designer for all those years that Carolina Girl was in the Parade of Lights. He is the former lighting director at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and very well-known in the industry. (He and his wife, Susan, also sailed with us along the Amalfi Coast a couple of years ago – Susan and I dubbed our husbands “Franco Uno and Franco Due”). The two Franks get together each week for lunch with a few other sailors in a group they called “the ROMEOs” – which stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out. So my Frank had forwarded one of our blog entries about Taormina – and Franco Due responded:
Frank: WOW!! This brings back memories for me!! In the early 1980’s, I took a show to Taormina with Rudolf Nureyev. We performed in an amphitheater high atop a mountain, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Our scenery had to be carted on three-wheel golf carts from the trucks to the theatre.
Well, somehow, 10,000 folks showed up that night. At the end of the show, the producer came on stage and lighted a candle. About 5,000 candles suddenly came to light in the audience. And Mr. Nureyev looked over at me and mouthed, “Thank you!”
What a story! Taormina truly is a very special place.