Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Today is Sarah’s birthday.  We have been celebrating in Italy the past few years. I cannot believe she is 38.  That makes me….old. Anyway she and I are going to have a mom and Sarah day and then later the three of us will go out to dinner.

The Villa Ducale has an awesome breakfast. There are a wide array of choices to munch on while sitting on the porch with a view of lower Taormina, Mt. Etna, and the Ionian Sea. Here is an example from one of John’s plates.

Clockwise from 12 o’clock: caponata, stuffed tomato, egg and herb frittata, eggplant parmesan with frico, and bacon. There are a vast array of normal breakfast things plus a whole table of sweets.

While we are planning on going to the Roman theater down in town, John is planning on taking a hike up to Castelmola, a town high above Taormina. We think he is crazy but on the other hand Sarah and I are planning on walking down the mountain.

Castelmola is the town high up on the mountain

First Sarah and I must walk up the hill to the old church and then descend a twisting staircase down to the commercial part of town and the site of the Roman theater. You can see the Roman theater behind Sarah in the next picture.

Sarah with Roman theater in the background

It is a long way down to the theater on a set of switchback steps especially for someone with a bad knee who is using a cane. But Sarah is a sweetie and holds my hand a lot to help me. Ladies holding hands is not so unusual in Italy.

In the next picture you can see a portion of the switchback stairs and the Roman theater in the distance.

Our starting point at the upper right and the switchback stairs

We are part way down! The theater is on a slight hill near the sea.

We finally reach the bottom and find our way to the ancient theater, buy tickets, and audio guides. We take time for a mom and Sarah selfie and a picture of Sarah.

After a lot of downhill walking and stair descending we are in the Roman theater

Sarah in the Roman theater

I am still amazed that we made it to the Roman theater from the bump to the left of the high point of the mountain.

Sarah looking out to our starting point which is the lump to the left of the highest point in the picture. Wow!

Some views of the Roman theater.

The Ionian Sea through an ancient arch

Another view of the Roman theater

The wind picks up and it starts spitting little daggers of cold rain. We finish up at the Roman theater and find a place to have lunch, La Botte. I order spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, and chiles and Sarah has a pizza with mushroom, sausage, and onions.

I have earned every strand of this spaghetti today

Can Sarah eat a whole pizza? Yes, she can.

Sarah has read about this place, Bam Bar, in Food and Wine Magazine as the best place to get granita. On the recommendation of the waiter we both get an almond granita on the bottom, followed by coffee granita, and then kind of whipped cream on top. For someone who doesn’t like desserts, I am surely doing a good job eating them!

We finish lunch with almond/coffe granite with cream on top at Bam Bar

Later John, Sarah and I meet to discuss the day and tonight’s plans. John has made it part was up to Castelmola but decided it was just too far and steep. He also wrote part of my yesterday’s blog post for me while I was gone. We decide we are just too tired out to go out to dinner and after birthday hugs return to our rooms to collapse.

 

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