Since we have the parking garage from hell and are afraid that if we venture out of Taormina we’ll never get back in it, we revise our plans to explore outside the city. No Noto… we’ll just have to come back to Sicily.
Getting to street level is a challenge (up/down many stairs, across hallways, a gate which inexplicably has the name Condominio San Giorgio on it) but we are intrepid. Or perhaps just desperate to get outside.
Highlights of these two days are buying fresh fish and veggies at the local market for dinner at home, the famous Greek amphitheater which is actually Roman, a lovely little park which is a calm oasis in the middle of this busy city (with interesting topiary, e.g. a reindeer – ? – ), shopping for some ceramics, lunching on fabulous squid/cuttlefish ink pasta, and the discovery of “brutti ma buoni” (ugly but good) cookies.
Leaving Taormina Lux Apartments is almost as complicated. First we have to get all our stuff to the parking garage. Then we open the security gate and DH drives outside. Now I have to run BACK upstairs to the condo, leave the keys on the washing machine, go back down to the basement, and exit a side door because the automatic gate has closed.
Would it not be simpler for each unit to have its own number, which would also be on the keys, which could then be left in a drop box IN the garage? Just sayin’.
We drive back to Palermo and stay in a nice hotel near the airport. Have an excellent lunch, a longish walk, and repack our bags from tomorrow’s flight to Milan.
We fly to Milan and check in at the Principe di Savoia, where we stayed when we were newly engaged. It’s now part of the Dorchester Group and not quite as special as it used to be but still very nice.
After checking in, we take their complimentary shuttle into town, do some errands (I need another hole punched in my new Hermès belt — even with wine, pasta and pastry I have still lost weight on this trip, woo hoo!) and explore the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, a house shared by two very rich, very eccentric brothers and crammed with Renaissance tchotchkes and lugubrious religious artifacts.
Our favorite thing is the bathtub, which looks like a baptismal font but had hot and cold running water — the latest thing in the 19th century.
There’s also a wonderful temporary exhibit of Jacques Henri Lartigue photos.
Fly home. Why can’t our airports feature gelato and other treats like those in Italy?
Happily, all goes smoothly, the bags arrive quickly, and we immediately start planning our next trip.