taormina and letojanni

Our last hotel was in a small town on the ocean called Letojanni. It was near the hillside town of Taormina, which was a really cool place we spent two days shopping in and exploring.

Here is one of the views from our balcony at the final hotel. We spent a lot of time here, organizing shells and rocks and looking down into the hotel restaurant kitchen! Our whole group was on the same floor, and once we checked in, we all said hi and waved to each other from our windows/balconies.

Here’s the other side, looking right out to the ocean.

Outside of the hotel.

We headed up to Taormina that day for a guided tour. Our first stop (and basically the highlight of the tour) was the ancient Greek theater. Here’s a view on our way up. That’s Mount Etna (Sicily’s active volcano) in the background!

And this is the Greek theater. It was really cool, and apparently, they still have shows and concerts here once in a while!

It wasn’t too crowded, either, which was nice!

I love this one. I’ll be honest: I didn’t expect there to be as many cacti and palm trees as there were! I was pleasantly surprised once we arrived. It reminded me a bit of Arizona! 😀

I had never seen an ocean (in person) of that shade of blue before.

A really cool mosaic in the center of Taormina. It’s a bit of a tourist trap in some parts, and there are a lot of stores, but I love how there are still so many historic elements that are preserved despite the modernization.

OK, this photo looks kind of gross, but this was one of my favorite dishes! It’s gnocchi with a pistachio-pesto sauce. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again.

An adorable turquoise door outside of the restaurant.

We didn’t get a chance to swim in the pools at the other hotels, and since there wasn’t one at this hotel, a few of us wanted to go swimming in the ocean. The water was freezing when we got there, though, so I was hesitant to even go up to my knees. But I convinced myself to just do it so I can say I swam in the Mediterranean Sea! It warmed up after a while and was so lovely.

This picture is kind of haunting, but look how clear and beautiful the water looks!

Oh, but I wish I had water shoes that day! Those rocks were very very painful.

Here’s proof that I swam in the Mediterranian Sea. It was so calm that day; I had never seen anything like it!

I love this photo so much. Everything about it is just so pretty. I remember everything so vividly from this trip. Looking through photos makes me feel like I’m reliving it!

After swimming, my friends and I decided to order pizza on the dock next to the ocean. I was freezing from the twenty-minute swim (it really was that cold!), so I got some hot chocolate, too. Surprisingly, this was the first pizza I had the whole trip! One is Four Cheese and the other is Margherita.

And, of course, what’s a meal without gelato for dessert? This is pistachio with a chocolate cone.

Cute purple chairs and tables we admired while eating our gelato.

Some of the beach treasures I found! I gave some away to one of my friends but kept a few special ones for myself.

Here’s one last photo to wrap things up. There’s so much going on: the hillside houses, the trees, the VOLCANO in the background. So cool. I just can’t believe I got to see this view in person.

Tomorrow (I hope), I will share photos from our trip to Mount Etna! A presto.

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