Sunday, February 12, 2017

Messina, Italy by Margot Justes

We docked early in Messina, my favorite arrival time, the sun is not yet up, the lights sparkle from above the sea, and reflect in the water, it is rather a romantic scene.

Little time was spent in Messina, long enough to see the church and the main square, watch the rush hour traffic, and taker my life in my hands, at least it felt like that every time I crossed the street. It is a busy working city, people are in a constant hurry, and the manic traffic seems to match that urgency.

I visited Cathedral Square, and saw the biggest astronomical clock in the world, at least that is what the guide book said, and it is massive, the Orion Fountain built in 1547 in the center of the piazza, and the gorgeous massive doors built in the 15th/16th century that appear to stand guard at the entrance to the cathedral. 

Most of my time was spent in Taormina, and I’m so glad I booked this excursion. It took us an hour to get there, and it was well worth it. The views are stunning, and the same charm, and exuberance I found in Amalfi exists in Taormina. Our tour guide said it was impossible to get lost, and she was right.  There is only one long main street, and that is where it all happens. Even I couldn’t get lost, and that is saying a lot.

The place was packed with tourists, and the main street had the usual cafes, shops, but woven along with the tourist trinkets are boutiques, designer shops, and normal every day places for the locals. The architecture is varied, and even includes a Greek Theatre, the acoustics at the theatre are incredible, and a view of Mt. Aetna completes the perfect setting.

The entrance to the city proper is through an arch. Along this main long course, there are many narrow side streets, and one of them is so slim that only one person can go up the stairs at a time.

According to our guide, the reason for the tiny street is so that if invading soldiers were to come down the person waiting for them at the bottom could pick them up one by one. Sort of a military advantage-have no idea if that is true, but the story resonated with the group. The architecture is varied because Sicily has been conquered or invaded 14 times during its long history.

Happy travels, wherever they may take you.

Margot  Justes
Blood Art
A Fire Within
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
A Hotel in Venice