We love Taormina and have some favorite places we go back to again and again. We thought we’d share with you.
Sicily is famous for its almond (mandorla) and pistachio (pistaccio) trees. Lots of dishes are made with almonds or pistachios. In particular, Sicily is known for granite mandorla (pronounced gran-ee-tah man-door-lah), a delicious concoction of ice, milk, sugar and freshly crushed almonds – kind of like ice cream but better. And the most famous place for granite mandorla is Bam Bar. (They have other flavors, too, but mandorla is the best.)
The traditional way to have granite is with brioche. At first, this seemed a little over the top to me. But once you have had it, it is amazing. They even have this for breakfast!
So – for lunch today we took a passeggiata down to Bam Bar and had granite mandorla. Buonissimo!
Speaking of almonds, the absolute best place for marzipan (made with fresh almond paste) is Da Roberto. We found Roberto last year, and I went back over and over for marzipan, one of my favorite sweets.
When we came back this year, he remembered us. And today, he made fresh marzipan just for me. He has a huge array of choices – like a bakery for marzipan.
Roberto is famous in Taormina and world-wide. Even Bill Clinton has been there and sent Roberto a letter on White House stationery – it is hanging up.
And at the end of the day, we love to spend the evening at Wunderbar. It is on the main piazza overlooking the sea and lovely to sit out on a summer night with an espresso – or maybe a limoncello or granite.
But the real reason we come is the sassofonista (saxophonist). He is amazing – he is actually playing in the picture below and didn’t blink an eye as people posed with him.
Every day, Wunderbar puts up a sign announcing the night’s entertainment. We walk down with high hopes and love it when it’s the sassofonista. He plays everything from Sinatra to show tunes to Sicilian folk songs, always with a flair. He is part of a trio that includes a pianist and percussionist, and they entertain the whole piazza. Huge crowds gather when they play, couples dance in the square, and little kids spin around to the music, weaving in and out of the musicians.
It is truly magical.