Holiday 2012: Day 10 – Messina, Sicily (Italy)

June 9th, 2012 by Francis Yates Leave a reply »

Welcome to Messina, Sicily (Italy)

This morning, we woke up in the beautiful city of Messina, which is on the island of Sicily. Now while Sicily is actually part of Italy, it is an island, and is the bit of Italy, that the “boot” is kicking 🙂

Messina is one of the few places in Italy to still take their daily siesta. Siesta is taken daily between 1:30pm and 3:30pm, and the entire city pretty much shuts down, this is not surprising, and as the average summer temperature can get into the mid 40’s (Celsius!) The shops and restaurants close, and the roads and sidewalks become a ghost-town; nothing is done for those two hours. It makes visiting Messina pretty difficult as well, because if you don’t see the city during the morning, it’s pointless going out in the afternoon

As we had visited Messina on our previous holiday in 2008, and that time went to the top of Mt Etna. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. We actually heard a couple of explosions coming from Etna this afternoon. It is also the tallest active volcano in Europe. It has had eruptions as recent as January 2012.

Messina – Mount Etna Rumbling and Grumbling

For today’s stop, we decided to visit the small city of Taormina, which is located on the east side of Sicily. The city of Taormina is a very popular tourist resort, as the beaches and seas are beautiful. The city is located on the Ionian Sea which is remarkably warm. The city of Taormina is located roughly 50km from Messina, and it’s a 45min trip via car/bus.

Messina – Taormina City

Messina – Taormina City

Messina – Taormina City

Messina – Taormina City

It was another incredibly hot today in Europe, with the temp in the mid 30’s. The tour gave us 4.5 hours in the city of Taormina, which is actually way to long. They have a cable car which takes people down to the beautiful beaches. We however, managed to find the steps that take you down to the beach. The walk down must have taken about an hour, but the views where incredible and well worth it, we however decided not to walk back up the stairs and use the cable car back to the top!

Messina – The Beaches of Taormina

Sicily is home to an Italian dessert, and the dessert is Cannoli. Cannoli means “little tube”. Cannoli consists of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, filled with a sweet, creamy filling usually containing ricotta cheese. They are incredibly yummy! There are tons of Italian bakery’s around Taormina, and the smells are amazing, and so are the window displays!

Messina – Taormina Italian Bakery Window

This last picture, is a statue at the entrance / exit of the harbour, blessing all of the residents of the city of Messina

Messina – Statue

Tomorrow morning, we will be arriving in Olbia, Sardinia. Now from some research on Google before the holiday, it seems there is VERY little to actually do in Olbia, especially on a Sunday, as the shops do not generally open on a Sunday. Even the cruise director noted during one of his talks that it’s a “recover” day, as after Olbia, we have none stop days in port, visiting Rome, Livorno, Monaco and Marseilles, and then finishing up in Barcelona on Friday!

Until tomorrow, Ciao!

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