Taormina, Torre Faro & Castelmola, Sicily

By Ali Karim
This post is part of a series called Sicily Oct 2017
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Sicily-2: Taormina, Torre Faro & Castelmola, Sicily

Next day, after breakfast, we picked up our friends from Catania airport, & drove from Catania to the outskirts of Taormina, where we were going to be staying next few nights. We drove along the coastal road that ran through some nice seaside towns; and after a fish and chips lunch at Aci Reale town, we got onto the autostrada for a short distance. We got off just before Taormina and drove uphill to a small town called Giardini Naxos, where our next B&B was located (called Sicily in Love. And no; this was not one of those that rented by the hour. Cost for B&B room for 2 people was 40 Euro’s per night). We found this B&B that was on a steep hillside, and met Paula, the owner. She spoke no English, and so after some Spanish similar words and sign language, we eventually got settled in. Paula was very helpful, and after settling in, we drove into Taormina, nearby.

View of a hill town (Castel Mole) from our B&B
View of a hill town (Castelmola) from our B&B.

Taormina is a very touristy place, as it is very picturesque, built high on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Its claim to fame is a large Greek (& later Roman) Amphitheatre; that is in the second largest Amphitheatre outside Greece, well preserved, and overlooks the town and the sea. We drove into Taormina, parked and then walked uphill to the Greek theatre. Lots of tourists here; and after paying a 10 Euro (well worth it) entrance fee per person, we walked and admired the grounds of the theatre. Very beautiful.

Greek Theatre
Greek Theatre
Greek Theatre
Greek Theatre
Greek Theatre
Greek Theatre
View from the Theatre of the City below
View from the Theatre of the City below
View of other towns from the Greek Theatre
View of other towns from the Greek Theatre

On the way out of the Greek Theatre, we had walked through the old town of Taormina; now very gentrified; and came across some interesting shots

Wedding in progress near one of the old churches
Wedding in progress near one of the old churches
View of Taormina hillside and road
Taormina hillside and road
and Marina
and Marina
person wide alley to restaurant
1 person wide alley stairway to restaurant

We did not stay much longer in Taormina, as it was very commercialized. We stayed long enough to get some good views and camera shots, and left back for our B&B. That evening, we had decided to have a pizza at a local pizzeria nearby our B&B in Giardini Naxos, but were persuaded by Paula to go to a nearby family restaurant called Al Feudo. We were very glad we did that, as this turned out to be a busy place, and had excellent wine, food, including antipasti, pizza & tiramisu :).

Next day, we decided to visit Torre Faro, a place on the north east tip of Sicily, closest to Italy mainland. This place was supposed to have the best mussels as they have well controlled conditions for growing them here. We drove from our B&B on the autostrada; and at Messina, exited the highway (after paying 1.50 Euro’s for the toll); and drove the smaller roads to Torre Faro. Some scenes below in Torre Faro

Ubiquitous Cathedral in Torre Faro
Ubiquitous Cathedral in Torre Faro
View of mainland Italy across from Torre Faro
View of mainland Italy across from Torre Faro
Waterway from inland saltwater lakes to the sea; water was super-clear.
Waterway from inland saltwater lakes to the sea; water was super-clear.
Torre Faro across its saltwater lake where Mussels abound
Torre Faro across its saltwater lake where Mussels abound

We asked a man parking his car on the street, for a restaurant recommendation and in very little English, told us to go to Trattoria La Terrazza; and the Mussels and seafood there was the best we have ever had. So far, the food in Sicily had always been excellent, above par.

On the way back, we decided to visit Castelmola; the clifftop town we were seeing from our B&B. The road up to Castelmola was narrow and very steep, with many hairpin bends to get there.

On the way to Castel Mole; beautiful countryside
On the way to Castelmola, many hairpin bends; beautiful countryside
On the way to Castel Mole; beautiful countryside
On the way to Castelmola; beautiful countryside
On the way to Castel Mole; beautiful countryside
more beautiful countryside
At the town of Castel Mole
At the town of Castelmola

Castelmola was an old castle and is believed to have been built in the Greek times (many years BC) and then added on and improved in the Norman times. It was built on the cliff top to be able to provide protection and shelter in times of war.

After some climbing from the town, we were able to reach the original castle.

Original walls of the castle
Original walls of the castle
Magnificent views from the Castle
Magnificent views from the Castle
Magnificent views from the Castle
Views from the Castle to the sea
Magnificent views from the Castle
Castelmola at sunset over Mt Etna; very romantic
Magnificent views from the Castle
Magnificent dusk views from the Castle of the Sicilian coastline after sunset

It was now dusk, so we headed back to the B&B after a pasta dinner in the town of Giardini Naxos; followed by roasted chestnuts for desert; for a refreshing night’s sleep.

Trip map so far

Road Map so far
Road Map so far

Tomorrow; off to Siracusa

This entry was posted in Europe, Italy, Sicily Oct 2017

6 thoughts on “Taormina, Torre Faro & Castelmola, Sicily

  • nick paroo November 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm Reply

    Ali beautiful picks

    • Ali Karim November 8, 2017 at 3:38 am Reply

      Thanks Mr, Nick

  • Tamiza November 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm Reply

    Enjoyed reading your commentary. Beautiful pics. Sounds like an amazing place to visit!

    • Ali Karim November 8, 2017 at 3:39 am Reply

      Tamiza, so glad you are enjoying the travelog. There’s more of Sicily to come, so stay tuned 🙂

  • mahamud jinnah November 15, 2017 at 8:40 am Reply

    Awesome Ali. You have inspired me to go to Sicily. Based on both your blogs i thought you had traversed all of Sicily. Then i saw the map and see that you have covered just a small part and still there was so much to see and do.that Amphitheater is striking as are the views from the castle.I am blown away.

    • Ali Karim November 15, 2017 at 8:41 am Reply

      Thanks Mahamud; We are still covering Sicily, and plan to do a large part of the island. Stay tuned 🙂 as they say.

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