A road trip around Sicily – making the most of the Mediterranean’s largest island

The best view in Sicily is a steep, sticky, cacti-lined climb, one hour if you’re fit, and not hungover from all the Limoncello the night before, from an ancient stone archway at Porta Messina, the portal into Taormina, the island’s prettiest town, that curls and twirls passed 17th-century chapels, iron-age cave-tombs, abandoned 1990s ice-cream parlours and groups of thick-calved Americans dressed for Augusta. The hike climaxes in castellated Castelmola, a tiny medieval village perched atop a precipitous Acropolis-like outcrop of rock. It’s here you’ll find Bar Turrisi – a higgledy-piggledy café-cum-bar devoted, religiously, to jumbo-sized representations of the male member.

Like stars in the night’s sky, the more you look the more you see. From phallic figurines to priapic bronze statues to full-on, lob-on-shaped beer pumps, Bar Turrisi is a five-storey temple to the tallywacker. They’re carved into candles and table lamps and door handles and armchairs and fountains and bar stools and balustrades and staircases and sinks and taps and anything else that can be manscaped into something that resembles a membrum virile. Even inconspicuous-looking floor tiles are arranged in such a way as to reveal, from certain angles, representations of, well, you know what. The bar’s got serious wood.

The turn-too-quickly-and-have-your-eye-poked-out phallicism is the vision of Peppino Turrisi, an eccentric ex-actor who inherited the bar from his father who had inherited it from his father. Bar Turrisi opened as a souvenir shop that sold almond wine in 1947, a year after war-torn, poverty-stricken Sicily had become an autonomous region of the new Republic of Italy.

By the 1970s, tourist numbers were up and when Peppino and his wife had three sons in five years one body part came to represent their patriarchal lives more than any other – an emblem that has symbolised joy and fertility in Sicily since the Greeks began arriving in the eight century BC. 

Over the ensuing years, Peppino and his sons have commissioned so much phallic-related furniture that an even greater hoard of oblong-shaped objets d’art remains hidden behind closed doors. A visitors’ book, packed full of cartoon drawings of the full package, invites guests to leave their own meat-and-two-veg inspired artwork. More than 100 volumes, stretching back to the seventies, are supposedly stacked out back.

Once you’re done taking dick pics, a circular iron staircase winds itself to a rooftop terrace that serves Sicily in all its blue-sea-meets-active-volcano glory. The view stretches from the Ionian coast in the east to Mount Etna and the Bay of Giardini-Naxos in the south, and the from Cape of Sant’Alessio and the strait of Messina in the North, to, on a clear day, the Calabrian coast of mainland Italy. It’s completely worth the genuinely tough-at-times hike.

Article Source: Luxury London