When the MSC Preziosa docked in the neat little Sicilian port of Messina most of those on board opted for excursions to either Etna or the pretty, but touristy, hilltop village of Toarmina.
I decided to take a road less travelled and headed, instead, for the local railway station.
A paltry €7.90 bought me a return ticket to Giardini Naxos, a cute little fishing village and seaside resort some 48 kilometers down the coast line to Catania. The journey took 35 minutes out and around an hour back and it was a delight to be in a small town that clearly marches to a slow food beat.
Founded in 734 BC, this sleepy spot apparently comes alive in July and August.
Now, small fishing boats line the shore, a mix of rocks and dark sand, and while there are a couple of rather grand hotels, most of the accommodation appeared to be bed and breakfasts. Many of the cosy eateries specialised in local swordfish.
This picture postcard perfect Mediterranean town is the kind of place where you could easily spend a somnambulant few days. Alas, I only had a couple of hours but I can recommend the excellent espresso at the station cafe. The chilled white wine when I reboarded the Preziosa wasn't bad either.