This is Taormina (think of this line intoned by a deep, male, narrator-voice).
First thing after breakfast we visited the city’s Teatro Greco.* That’s it on the top of the hill in the rear. It’s big, and it’s still used for events. We watched workmen installing decking for stage access, the stage, risers, etc., in preparation for an event. Santana is playing on the 22nd, so it may be for that.
Then we headed uphill toward Castelmola. We didn’t go all the way, and instead detoured intending to visit a Saracen castle. At the turn from the road up to the castle, we encountered a mother-daughter from Louisiana coming down who told us that the castle wasn’t open. Bummer. So we headed over to a church, which was also closed, next to an overlook of the city (paste 37.85380,15.28401 into Google Maps to know where I was standing to take this; note that the autostrada you see on the map goes through a tunnel and is nowhere near the place I was standing).
After coming up the road (and dodging vehicular traffic), we opted to go down via the walkway that’s in the vegetation in the foreground of this shot. We saw plenty of flowers, and the steps were spaced out, so our knees were not unhappy.
We discovered that these steps came out just above the alley-steps that lead down to our hotel. Cool!
Back in our hotel room, we found the wifi recalcitrant, but John finally got both our devices online. Then, we talked via iPad with friends in Texas, and Nancy in Michigan (we’ve already talked to various family members). Fun! (Connection wasn’t so hot, maybe because…we’re in Italy.)
* You have no sense of the community this civic-ceremonial space fit into; there’s just the theater with a small temple that long ago was converted into a chapel/church, and that I skipped. And we could not figure out, other than some columns and arch-topped passage ways, what was very old, what was kinda old, and what was pure reconstruction. Most seemed to be the latter, however. I found it ironic that the stage-preparation building materials were all temporary and created surfaces above the archaeological ones—at least as presented (although the WikiP entry characterizes the theater as remarkably well preserved).