Teatro Greco Romano
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Greek Theater in Taormina, Sicily
As often as I've been blessed with good weather on days I encounter magical places, there are just as many days the weather is terrible. When I encountered this vista from the Greek Theater in Taormina, I was lucky: it had been raining the four days prior and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to see Etna. Having travelled to southern Italy and Sicily to spread my mother's ashes and visit family in Trapani, we (my wife and I) considered Taormina to be our "break" from what was very much an exhausting vacation. This theater is very walkable and accessible, but go there early unless you want to fight crowds of elderly mostly-German tourists being dropped by the busload. Walk down the side paths and try to imagine what a show here must have been like. When you're done, head out into the medieval streets of Taormina and look for a restaurant off the tourist beaten path. Since this is Sicily, seafood (especially swordfish) is a must, as is any pasticceria (Laboratorio Pasticceria Roberto is highly recommended; just be advised they are on "Sicilian" hours and might not be open). Also, be careful you don't walk into a mediocre tourist trap of a restaurant. Look with a discerning eye, and you'll be able to spot them from far away. As luck would also have it, Etna had erupted two days before we arrived in Taormina, as we were visiting Calabria. Since southern Italy was my mother's family's homeland, I think she had some part in that. Thanks mom.
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