Day 13: Surviving Taormina
We bid farewell to Sabrina and drive to our next home-from-home, Taormina, a few hours away. This is where our best-laid-plans are totally shot to hell.
The trip starts promisingly, as we get back to Caltanisetta without getting lost. But then…. We hit a double roundy-round and Betty wants us to take one of the exits. Well, that doesn’t work. We try EVERY GODDAMN EXIT until we realize that the one correct exit is the one that is blocked off. Needless to say, there are no signs to help and we are stuck in Caltanisetta.
DH finally has a brainstorm: Follow a truck because surely a truck is going to be headed for the highway, right? YES! We are out of the city and see signs for the A19 highway.
New crisis: I need a rest stop and there are none. Betty steers us to a gas station, which has a hunk of concrete blocking the door to the restroom but do I care? No, I do not! Ignoring the man outside who is yelling in Italian (which mercifully, I do not understand) I hustle out of the john and get back in the Fiat.
Needless to say, 5 minutes after we get on the A19 there is a bonafide rest area. F’ me and thanks, Betty.
OK, our new destination is the promisingly-named Taormina Lux Apartments, with an address per booking.com of #46 San Pancrazio, which we enter into the GPS. We have arranged to meet Emanuel the condo agent and are now running 1/2 hour late but all things considered that’s not too bad.
We arrive in Taormina to see that San Pancrazio is a winding thoroughfare — very busy — with nowhere to pull over but I spy #46 and hop out of the car to ring the doorbell. Nada. It’s clear that this is not the entrance so now what??
We call and text the agent multiple times as we circle around and around in the insane traffic of San Pan-Crazy-O and are finally forced to travel up to a small area by a bakery where we can pull over. This would be fine except that a cop keeps trying to shoo us away and a woman who has stopped for ice cream wants our parking spot.
Finally we get through to Emanuel who says he will meet us there in 10 minutes. 45 minutes later he actually shows up and we follow him to the apartment parking area which turns out to be BEHIND the street. How in hell were we supposed to know this?!?! We are now molto stressed out and more than a little irritated, especially DH who has had to drive around in circles for over an hour.
The complex itself is a maze and “helpfully”, none of the units are marked, nor is the key. But the apartment has a well stocked kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a large veranda overlooking the pool with a view of the hillside and ocean.
It’s now getting late so we dump our stuff and go exploring for lunch accompanied by wine, which we both desperately need at this point. Sapori di Mare hits the spot.
Taormina has been a vacation destination for centuries and it’s easy to see why. Despite being very touristy even at this time of year, it is extremely pretty. You just have to look up above the stores and down the little alleys to catch a glimpse of its natural beauty.
We buy some cheese, wine and pastry at Pasticceria D’Amore for a simple dinner later and go back to collapse.
Not so fast. Trying to find our room in this apartment complex is like being trapped in an Esher drawing.
Up 3 levels. Down 4 levels. Across to one elevator. Down a hallway. Back to the other elevator. We can see where our patio is (pool level) but damned if we can figure out how to get to it.
But we do, and vow to take careful notes tomorrow of exactly how to retrace our steps. Zzzzzz.