Me and Vincenzo Bellini

Celebrity Selfie Alert! Well, sort of. While in Catania in January, I took the opportunity to take a photo with the composer Bellini at the (You guessed it.) Giardino Bellini. Catania and Sicily are very proud of their “son,” the opera composer, Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835). Bellini was born into a family of musicians in Catania…

Escape from the Chatter in Taormina’s Villa Comunale

If you’ve had enough politics, Taormina’s Villa Comunale is a lovely place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the boutiques, restaurants, and G7 conferences happening throughout town. With its lush plantings and shaded pathways, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to a different era. There is a reason for that! Villa Comunale was given…

Our May 2016 Tour, Day 5: Taormina’s Secret Spot

Taormina’s public garden, Villa Comunale, was given to the town by English aristocrat and nature conservationist Florence Trevelyan (1852-1907), who once enjoyed bird watching from its cliff tops. Originally designed to be a private pleasure garden, the Villa Comunale was initially called Hallington Siculo, or Sicilian Hallington; Hallington for Hallington Demesne, the town from which…

Taormina’s Villa Comunale

Taormina’s Villa Comunale is located on a cliff with a stunning view of the sea and Mount Etna. The park was donated to the town by Lady Florence Trevelyan Cacciola, an Englishwoman who loved Taormina and originally owned the property. She built the pavilion (pictured) so she could enjoy Villa Comunale’s flora and fauna.