Buongiorno from Sicily!
Quick life catch up- I am currently living in a city called Palermo, where I am working as an au pair for the summer!
I spent my weekend off traveling to a BEAUTIFUL seaside town called Taormina. (I also spent my weekend counting the number of times I uttered the word "beautiful". 412-ish, now.) Known as a celebrity vacation destination, Taormina is most recognizable by Isola Bella, the volcano Mt. Etna (which, to my mother's horror, erupted while I was there), and the ruins of an ancient Greek theatre. I saw all three and can confirm they are spectacular.
A new friend and I took a train to Taormina from Palermo, which was a great time in itself. The view was lovely, with plenty of picturesque Italian countryside to keep us entertained. One of my favorite things about Sicily is that everything looks just as you'd picture Italy to look--full of laundry hanging from balconies, colorful buildings, and turquoise water.
We arrived and started exploring. During our two day holiday, we climbed 90,000 stairs.
Okay, not literally. But from the base of the mountain up into the town there is a staircase journey rivaling the Fellowship's trek up Mt. Doom. It takes about 25 minutes to climb fully. (I factored in an extra five minutes at the top to reevaluate my current fitness regime.) Naturally, to compensate for that hard work, we cumulatively ate enough ice cream for a family to survive a summer in the U.S.
The second day was spent mostly lounging and exploring the Island. Much to my dismay, deceptively cute jellyfish are abundant in the cove.
Luckily, my New Zealand native travel partner is well versed in appalling sea creatures and assured me this particular breed was not poisonous. She may have been lying to me, but either way it got me into the sea.
Which brings me to the most important part of Taormina- the water. Completely clear while still managing to be the richest aqua blue. The kind of water that makes you keep looking back to make sure it's really as incredible as you remember. (I did this many times as an excuse to gasp for air on the staircase into the clouds.) I'm quite skeptical that I'll see water this disarmingly beautiful (413.) ever again.
All in all, I had an unforgettable weekend. I hope I will see Taormina again some day--ideally when I'm a celebrity and can cruise there on my yacht. But until then...
Bye for now!