I woke up early to enjoy breakfast overlooking a clear sky and the Bay of Naxos. The sight is what I imagined when I decided to come to Taormina and I was happy to be living my vision.
I started my day slowly, with a walk around town and a little shopping. I finally made it to a place called Don Corleone, which I noticed last year and the year before but never had time to check out. The name of the ceramic shop interested me, but also made me skeptical. I am really not a fan of using The Godfather, much as I love the film, to attract attention to and in Sicily. Once I entered I was happy to see “No Mafia” t-shirts and some really captivating ceramic art. I didn’t take photos of the work but a lot of it displayed an interesting reflection of the island’s image. i was able to get one photo of a door, which hopefully demonstrates the style a bit.
During siesta I finished Sicily as a Metaphor, an interview with one of Sicily’s most important writer/social commentators Leonardo Sciascia (credit: Mirta Salomon). I had a little chat with some women who were visiting for the first time and told them what they should see, played some soccer with little kids, and insisted on speaking Italian in one of the bars on the street.
Everyone is asking me where I am studying, assuming Bologna, which is giving me a lot to think about…
For dinner, I met Derek and his friend, now mine, Sam. I spoke English extensively for the first time in a week. It was really great to catch up with an old friend and make a new one, and exciting to show them a place I loved so much and that they would probably not have visited.
Dinner was another patio-panorama place with seafood and pasta. Traveling alone creates a very different dining experience in that the staff is usually interested in who you are and why you are there, alone. An American trio is more anonymous and less interesting, I think. Another thing: the staff in Taormina are not as welcoming as they are in Palermo. In Palermo, everyone starts off suspicious but I have found that that may only be the case because of the warm character of the people – it’s like i Palermitani are protecting their robust welcome until they are sure someone will appreciate it. In Taormina, the people are somewhat detached, which I think has a lot to do with the resort nature of the town.
In any case, we had a good meal and great conversation that was fully comprehensible. We made plans to go to il Teatro Greco tomorrow morning, which I am thrilled to shock them with.