Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Taormina. click! Taormina. click!

Is Italy the most visually stimulating place on Earth? I am not talking about great architecture here, but intriguing and quirky ordinary streets. Wandering around the streets and alleyways of Taormina and Giardini Naxos there is always something interesting to see, even before you factor-in the street theatre of everyuday life.

For example, the Sicilian artist Rento Guttoso's 1970s painting of Palermo market is rightly famous as an iconic celebration of southern Italian street life.

Renato Guttuso's iconic painting of Palermo's La Vuccira market
On the side wall of a modest cafe on Giardini Naxos' sea front were some murals in a similar style. In some ways I preferred the street art 'knock-off. Whereas the Guttoso painting edges towards Jack Vettriano kitch in its depiction of the central figures, the disregarded mural retains an earthy vitality associated with folk art and the naive.


At every turn there is something that tempts you to go click - a bougainvillea draped gable.



An amphibious Ape....



A truck on stilts...


A plate mosaic wall...


Sicilian 'flowerpot heads' on Taormina balconies..




White knuckle ride bus journeys...



with awesome views...


Candy pink shops...


selling grotesque ceramics...



and designer trash..


Tree friendly bus shelter...


 Fin de siecle tea room...


and venerable shop fronts..


I can understand why people choose to tarry here for weeks. There is always something to catch your eye, and plenty of street life to watch from a cafe table. We are wanderers though, five days is enough for us in one place, time to move on.

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