To my inquisitive readers,
I attended my dearest friends’ wedding reception at the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina. It was marvelous! The vibe of the Sicilian lifestyle is what inspires me the most, their relaxed atmosphere, love for delicious food and the passion that they have for enjoying and celebrating life. My beautiful friend told me that she wanted her friends to experience the ‘magic’ of Sicily that she holds so dear to her heart as a true Sicilian citizen. That is what I will share with you throughout this post.
Beneath the village of Taormina is the stunning beach of Mazzarò, that is unlike any other beach I have ever seen before. The most convenient way to get to the beach from the village is by cable car. I am terrified of heights, especially in a cable car, because it feels like I am dangling around in thin air. Usually I fear that I am too far above the ground and yes, I have heard the expression, “…don’t look down!”, yet when someone says that to me, of course I’m going to look down! On that day, I couldn’t stop myself from looking out of the windows and to my amazement, I felt sincere peace instead of profound fear. I gazed over the numerous green treetops and it felt like the cable car was caressing the treetops as it steadily glided down the hill. Somehow, I felt closer to the surface of the earth than ever before and I found myself overwhelmed with tears of joy and relief. Before I knew it, the ride was over and we had arrived at Via Nazionale!
There are many ways to access the beach from Via Nazionale, where you can rent sun loungers, umbrellas and arrange boat trips to one of the most gorgeous caves, called La Grotta Azzura and the tiny islet called Isola Bella. I decided to take the Belmond Villa St Andrea Hotel route down to the beach, since my friend had already given me the inside scoop on the picturesque garden that leads straight onto the beach. Who wouldn’t want to see that? True to Taormina, this route included endless stairs, yet the breathtaking views distracts one from feeling even the slightest sense of exhaustion. The garden is phenomenal with alluring greenery, colourful flowers in terracotta pots, ornamental features and creative designs. The most incredible experience however, was stepping out of the garden right onto the beach itself. It felt like I was ‘Alice in Wonderland’, surrounded by something surreal that could only be true in a figment of my imagination.
I had lunch on the hotel’s terrace and the pasta was simply divine, it was colourful and the ingredients melted together in my mouth. As you can imagine I couldn’t help but soak up the Sicilian sun and enjoy the captivating scenery that surrounded me. The experience was paralyzing, for a moment I certainly believed that I could sit in that position indefinitely.
Isola Bella is an islet that is connected to the Bay of Mazzarò by a stretch of coarse sand and pebbles. It is accessible from the beach and during high tide the stretch of sand disappears underneath the clear water of the Ionian Sea. Sometimes it peeks out of the water resembling a peninsula instead of an islet. It is an opportunity to experience nature in its purest form. It has an intriguing history and it is known as the Pearl of the Ionian Sea.
I knew that Taormina would be charming, yet I thought it would become tedious quite soon. After all, the size of a destination is usually an indication of the amount of days that one should allocate to it. To my bewilderment, I found that there are no limitations to Taormina unless you set them yourself. Take the time to enjoy every single step you take in the enchanting village and leave no ‘pebble’ unturned in the magnificent Bay of Mazzarò!
In my next post I will write about Kotor, Montenegro. Keep an eye out on Instagram and Facebook for clues…
Enjoy the photographs!