Don’s arrival went about as smoothly as one could hope with a rental car in a medieval cobblestoned town perched on a hill. The day before, I had gone to a garage near the house to find out the hours and make sure he could park there. The conversation was all in Italian and successful (you have to give yourself credit when you can, to help balance all the mistakes you make). I’m starting to have to use Italian for the real world and not just in my little “bubble” world of language schools and second language speakers.
I also talked to Aurelio about just where in Taormina Don would arrive once he left the freeway. Taormina is a maze of one way roads that wind up and down the hills and are difficult to follow on the map. Aurelio’s directions were perfect. I met Don at Porta Messina, easily recognized not only by the old stone arch but also by the palm tree in the middle of the square with all the fronds cut off, just where Aurelio said he would end up. We had a nice lunch in the main piazza in Castelmola and then spent the rest of the afternoon catching up and getting Don acquainted with my town. We ended the tour with a drink at the Wunderbar overlooking the Mediterranean.