Have disembarked our cruise ship in Messina and driven the 45 mins to Taormina, the views certainly didn't disappoint, however the touristic nature of this village with gift shop after gift shop soon becomes tiresome. About half way along the main street, just before the arch lies the Metropole Hotel, and oasis of calm and serenity with a Michelin starred restaurant to boot the views from the terrace are stunning, over the beaches and surrounding coast line below. The staff are friendly and courteous (unlike the other 'luxury' hotel near the roman ruins), despite our t-shirts and shorts they couldn't be more welcoming. The lunch menu was simple and well presented, the wine list as you would expect is prolific and unless you are an expert in Sicilian wines I would let the waiters choose for you.
The experience doesn't come cheap but the view and serenity are worth it.
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