Sicily: Mount Silvestri and Taormina

Posted by:     Tags:      Posted date:  September 12, 2011  |  3 Comments
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We were in Sicily today. I hadn’t realized before but not only does Sicily have a distinct culture and heritage to Italy, it’s on its own island (I guess really need to brush up on my geography.). And here I thought, Sicily was only different because of its mafia.

I finally got a chance to do something touristy! Actually, I thought I was going to see Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world but apparently it takes ages to get there. So we went to its poor cousin, Mount Silvestri. Evidently, Mt Silvestri is not even a volcano but a series of massive craters caused by “volcano bombs” from Mt Etna. So, it was still cool. It was like being on a ski mountain in opposite world, where instead of all white it was all black and instead of being cold it was hot. Surreal.

I was a bit disappointed I didn’t see any flowing lava though. The closest thing to that was when I was tobogganing down Mt Rupheau 16 years ago in New Zealand. As I was going down the hill I noticed everyone below me looking in my direction. I thought it was because of my superior tobogganing skills but it turned out that the volcano was just erupting behind me. There was a big cloud of ash and an alarm was sounded, and everyone was made to leave, which was very inconvenient as I had rented that toboggan for the whole day. That’s the last time I ever tobogganed (but that’s only because I just learnt how to snowboard after that).

Anyway, after stealing a bunch of rocks from Mt Silvestri, we headed to Taormina, a hillside town on the east coast of Sicily. You know how cities have a smell. Like London smells like vinegar and Paris smells like urine? Well, Taormina smells like waffles. Honest. To be fair, I may have been in front of a waffle place when I made that discovery.

Apart from the aroma, the only way I can describe Taormina is it’s fucking beautiful. It’s like Venice but on a hill and with a strange-looking minotaur in the city square. And when I say it’s like Venice, I mean there are lots of pizzerias and cobblestone streets. But no gondolas because you know, it’s kinda hard for them to get up hills.

Sicily: definitely worth visiting.

What other city smells can you think off?

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3 Comments for Sicily: Mount Silvestri and Taormina


Paris does smell like urine! I love how certain seasons have a distinct smell too, and sometimes the taste of something can remind you of a certain point in time. Like eating a pink popcicle one year totally "tasted" like summer to me.

    Roy Marvelous

    Ooh, I need to eat more pink popsicle!

Blue, White and Everything Greek

[…] time, I went on a tour which involved some volcano hiking, which was slightly more exciting than my last volcano hike. I was still disappointed that there was no flowing lava but at least there were a few fissure […]