the 'Teatro Greco', Taormina
The motor up towards Taormina started out uneventful. Bruce deployed the fishing line and we ran the water maker for a few hours until Taormina Bay came into view then all hell broke loose as we found ourselves suddenly motoring in 25 knot headwinds. This was made worse because the tide was going in the opposite direction and created roughly a 2m confused sea which turned our gentle motor into a washing machine ride throwing us left, right, up and down. As normal Flirtie took it her stride but our speed was reduced to 3 knots. For a brief moment we questioned how calm the anchorage would be but thankfully as we motored closer the sea calmed.
Taormina anchorage is deep in places but there is also a buoyed area managed by George Rizzo of yachthotel
. We last saw George four years ago when we came down the Messina Straits to stop here. At the time George said that the anchorage was going to be very uncomfortable and we were grateful for his honest opinion which prevented us from spending what would have been a very uncomfortable night or two. We decided therefore it was only fair to take one of his buoys. Speaking to George he now offers a full concierge service, garbage collection (which is important when rubbish bins are not easily found), yacht provisioning, yacht care management and it's even possible to pre order fresh bread, croissants, milk etc. for delivery the following morning. Nice touch George! For more information go to: www.yachthotel.it
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taromina was once a small hill village and much of its medieval character remains intact. The main street (Corso Umberto I) can lay claim to be the flashiest shopping street in southern Italy and sourcing a Gucci bag, necklaces worth £10,000 or genuine Baroque candelabra is no trouble. No surprise then that it's Sicily's best known and classiest resort but there are still a number of tourist shops!
Taormina town, one of the piazzas and a coastal view
We weren't there for the shopping experience but to visit the famous 'Teatro Greco', one of Sicily's unmissable sights. Carved out of the hillside the theatre gives a complete panoramic view of the Sicilian coastline, the mountains of southern Calabria across the water with Mount Etna as the backdrop. It's a stunning location to decide to build such a theatre which still holds live events.
The theatre was founded by the Greeks in the 3 century AD. It's the second largest theatre of Sicily after the one in Siracusa and easily reached from the anchorage 'Giardini Naxos' with a 15 minute bus ride up a steep winding road and then just a short walk from the bus terminal.
Our return journey was by foot down the 'Sentiero Madonna della Grazie'. It's mentioned in the Rough Guides Sicily Book but can also be downloaded offline on Google apps, (Maps.me).
Our first night at anchor was surprisingly calm despite the passing cargo vessels that transit the area however we can't say the same for the second night as the dreaded swell worked its way in! Sleep deprived in less than 10 days of being at anchor... but the Greek theatre was certainly worth it!
Total distance from Monte Pergola to Taormina: 38.67 nautical miles
Total distance this season: 113.02 nautical miles