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Winds that blow too hard prevent sailing ships from coming into some ports. Or the wind is from the wrong direction. Or both.

And so, in fact we missed Lipari and Giardini Naxos and landed instead at Messina and Siracusa.

I don’t have bad things to say about Messina. It has a beautiful square with a famous clock tower. And yet we immediately negotiated a trip to Taormina and left the city behind..

Greek Theater Taormina P1040144
In Taormina we found our first Greek theater of the trip…fascinating with its views of Mt. Etna Greek Theater Taorminain the background.

This small village is a popular destination for thousands of tourists; and that left me a bit cold. I’m not enamored of fighting my way through hordes of people, even in antiquity as charming and picturesque as this.

There were two high points: 1) Watching a couple dressed for their wedding being followed by fashionable Italians; and 2) the money-changer, Dr. Silvestri, who looked exactly like Scrooge (but friendly enough). His slow and deliberate movements seemed a product of both his age and his personality. I wish I had taken a photo, but it seemed too rude.

P1040127 TaorminaOther than that? Yes, the views down to the sea were breathtaking. Yes, the archways are ancient and one depicts the Madonna in mosaic gold.

And, sadly, I was just happy to be back to the ship where it was much more quiet…even with the ship’s engines.

Travel snob am I!