Parco Florence Trevelyan, Taormina
Taormina's public garden (Villa Comunale) is one of the most scenic spots in the city. It is located in the southern part of the old town, about 200 meters from Via Umberto I. You can walk here via Naumachia, which starts in front of Banco di Siciliana, and this street turns into Via Bagnoli Croci, which leads you to the main entrance of the park. I walked to here from Via Teatro Greco via Giovanni di Giovanni. Another entrance is Via Roma, where the Hop-on Hop-off tourist bus runs.
The history of the park began in 1890, when the British noblewoman Florence Trevelyan (Florence Trevelyan) married the mayor of Taormina Salvatore Cacciola (Salvatore Cacciola). The biography of Lady Florence has a scandalous romantic character, and it is worth telling about it. She was born into a Scottish aristocratic family and received an excellent education at the court of Queen Victoria, was interested in history and culture, and made long trips to Europe and North Africa. In February 1884, she was found to have had an intimate relationship with the Queen's eldest son and heir to the throne, Edward VII, who was already married to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. Lady Florence was banished from London and settled in Taormina, where she found her family happiness.
To live together, the couple bought several old houses on the south terrace of the city, which were demolished, and in their place they built a villa with a magnificent park, which was named Parco Trevelyan. In 1907, the owner of the park died, and in February 1923 it was acquired as municipal property. The Florence T. Trevelyan Monument is located in the eastern part of the park, on an alley that runs south of the round square with a fountain.
After the transfer to municipal ownership, the park was officially named after Giovanni Colonna, Duca di Cesarò (Parco Duca di Cesarò), who was the Minister of the Royal Mail and telegaph, and ensured the allocation of funds to the Taormina administration for the purchase of the park. Locals prefer to call this place the City Park (Villa Comunale), or Florence Trevelyan Park (Parco Florence Trevelyan).
The park is located on one of the largest sea terraces on the coast of Taormina. These are flat areas that rise above steep rock ledges formed during the Quaternary period. The gradual elevation of the terrain was caused by a marine bradyseism (underwater seismic activity).
The park stretches for 280 meters along the edge of a sheer cliff at an altitude of about 70 meters above sea level and has an area of 22,400 m2. The level differences were filled with stone terraces and staircases. In addition to the local vegetation, trees brought from the Southern Hemisphere were planted here.
The central part of the park, where the main entrance is located, is a memorial complex, the center of which is a monument to the residents of Taormina who died in the First World War.
A 1915 Italian Army artillery piece was installed nearby.
Monument in memory of the Italian sailors is a piloted torpedo Mailae Italian design, which was used by underwater saboteurs. You can find out more about this underwater projectile in a separate article .
On the trunk of one of the trees you can see plaques in memory of the inhabitants of Taormina, awarded the highest military medals.
In the next article, I will talk about the architecture and fauna of the park.