Sicilian details: Taormina

Walking around Taormina, one of my favourite places to visit in Sicily, I came across an impressive lawyer’s office. It was a few hundred meters down the road from the Anfiteatro; the ancient greek open-air theatre still used today for summer concerts.

I imagined the lawyer closing his office late one summer night and strolling down the street to go to whatever performance was happening. It wasn’t a bad location for an office, in a prime piece of real estate in the city’s heart. You could probably spy on the arriving international guests from the second floor during the film festival. You could probably throw a water bomb onto the press as they interview the arriving celebrities. 

The palazzo that houses the lawyer’s office is impressive, with thick tall carved wooden doors and elaborate wrought-iron details on the medieval-looking windows. But above all, what struck me as the most remarkable feature was the front door handle/ knocker.

Look how wonderful it was with its two intertwined mermaids with an angel at their tails all hooked over the central mouth of a Pan-like nature spirit. I stopped and took this picture of it, and later when I showed it to my husband, he said he didn’t even notice it.

It is fun to explore the side streets at Taormina; they are always filled with exciting nooks, tiny little stores, hidden gardens and snippets of everyday local life away from the crowds, which is always more authentic than the tourist traps on the main streets.

The same can be said of most Italian cities, moving away from the main tourist sites and a little way off the main roads. There are always cute little courtyards, family-run trattorie, private gardens or any other endless surprises to discover.

I love this photo of a store on a Taorminian side street filled with typical food products easily consumed on your walk or taken home in individually wrapped packages and jars.

I was struck by the handwritten list of their curated products, which can serve as a list of things you need to taste and places you need to visit while in Sicily.

It reads pistachio from Bronte, Capers from the island of Pantelleria, sun-dried tomatoes from Ispica, Chocolate from Modica, Almond wine, Lemoncello from Etna, honey and jam of Etna, Salt crystals from Trapani, Tuna bottarga (which is an intense tasting salty way of preserving tuna) and anchovies under salt.

A pretty great list of things to taste in Sicily.