Splendors of Sicily – Taormina

The day dawns bright and clear, as you can see. The views from our hotel are spectacular.

Mt. Etna is clear this morning, and we hope for the same weather tomorrow since we will ascend to about 10,000 feet!
We begin walking through a lovely park above our hotel to the site of an ancient Greek theatre. There is a fortress / castle high on the hill above us.
Ian finds a flowering agave particularly attractive as we pass by.
After a great deal of hilarity and panting, we reach the level of the theatre with beautiful views of Taormina behind us. Notice that Etna is already clouding over in the distance.
There is a small museum here with some artifacts. This is a Roman sarcophagus.
The ancient theatre has splendid views in all directions
In its original state, there was a two-storey facade at the back of the stage which would have blocked Etna from the view of the audience. The ancient Greeks wanted people to pay attention to what was happening on stage.
We continue our walking tour with our delightful guide. There is a cruise ship in port, and the main street of Taormina is unfortunately flooded with its passengers.
Art for sale on a side street in Taormina.
Beautiful balconies lining the main street through Taormina.

After a break for lunch, we drive to the village of Castelmola, at the highest point on the hill overlooking Taormina (even higher than that castle you saw earlier). You can easily see all the way to the Italian mainland from this vantage point.

The church of Castelmola. Who would guess that right next door is a shocking bar with daring and provocative displays of sensuality? Well, salvation is close at hand!
The bar I am referring to is called “Bar Turrisi”. They manufacture what they call the “Elixir of Love” – which is a sweet, sticky almond wine. But they definitely have a distinctive marketing gimmick.
Even the figures on the walls outside the bar are shocked to their very core by what they know awaits inside. Visitors take heed that what follows may not be suitable for the young or those easily offended.
As an obvious symbol of fertility and prosperity, the theme of the bar is male genitalia! Here Stan and Don prepare to order from the menu.
Bottles of the “Elixir of Love” can be purchased in Small, Medium, and Grande sizes. There are also shot glasses on the right.
Bartenders “hard” at work. I don’t know about you, but I’d find it distracting to work here!
The floor tiles continue the theme
Lamp at Bar Turrisi
Door handle to the restrooms
Faucet in the restroom
You have to be really “big” and work “hard” to become a “member” at this “club!”
We take our leave of Bar Turrisi, not quite sure about what we’ve just experienced, but our appetites certainly have been whetted (for dinner).

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