Our first visit to Sicily

On two of our previous Mediterranean cruises we had been near Sicily as we travelled the narrow Strait of Messina between the island of Sicily and Calabria in the southwest tip of the boot of mainland Italy. For this cruise we’d get our first opportunity to explore at least a part of the island as we set to tender off the coast of Giardini Naxos - part of the Metropolitan City of Messina.

Taormina on our own

Azamara Quest tendered off the coast of Giardini Naxos ahead of the scheduled arrival time and we watched the preparation of the tender platform and tender boats from our room until it was time to leave. The day was shaping up quite nicely with the temperature already in the low 20s under a pleasant sunny sky.

Our plan for the day was to do a self-guided tour of the nearby town of Taormina. To get there we had booked an excursion that was basically just bus travel from the port to Taormina and back. After a short tender ride to the port we boarded the bus that would take us to Taormina and shortly after that we were on our way. It was a pleasant trip with some nice views of the coastline here and there as we travelled.

Returning to Giardini Naxos and Azamara Quest

We travelled back to Giardini Naxos and Azamara Quest for about 5:30pm. After the day in the sun it was nice to relax a bit once we were back on the ship. For dinner we went to the main Discoveries dining room for about 7:30pm. Our plan originally was to go to the Cabaret Lounge after dinner for the captain’s welcome but on the table next to ours this evening was a couple of fellow Canadians. There were from Bracebridge, less than 200km from where we live. There were a nice couple and our conversation was enjoyable. We chatted long enough to completely miss the captain’s welcome. It turned out they had intended to do the same thing. A good evening, anyway, and a nice end to a wonderful day in Sicily.

Giardini Naxos Image Gallery

Azamara Quest off the coast of Giardini Naxos
A tender from Azamara Quest heading to shore
Arriving at the small port of Giardini Naxos
Azamara Quest anchored off the coast of Giardini Naxos
Porta Catania, an ancient entrance to Taormina
Looking down over the Mediterranean from the hilltop town of Taormina
Looking towards the Strait of Messina and mainland Italy
The ancient theatre of Taormina (Teatro antico di Taormina)
Azamara Quest off in the distance beyond the ancient theatre of Taormina
Mount Etna shrouded in cloud beyond the ancient theatre of Taormina
The ancient theatre of Taormina
Looking towards Mount Etna but not really seeing it through the clouds
Looking at the seating area of the ancient theatre of Taormina - still used today for performances
Some of the detail of the ancient theatre of Taormina
The clock tower of Porta di Mezzo
Our lunch table view in Taormina
Looking towards the Church of Saint Augustine in Taormina
The Cathedral of Taormina - dedicated to San Nicola di Bari
About WHITEonline

WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.

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