aside The US President In Taormina, Sicily For The G7 Conference (Gossip)

From L-R, European Council President Donald Tusk, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at family photo during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily,.May 26, 2017. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Here is the gossip behind the republican President Donald Trump’s visit to Taormina, Sicily as he attends the G7 Conference.

Note: I did spend a few days in Taormina, Sicily in May 2016, and it is stunningly gorgeous with its hilly topography, views of the Ionian Sea blue calm waters, the cascading flowers and lovely fragrant gardens, ancient ruins and rows of shops on a  street with no traffic. The details below describe Taormino as a hot spot for jet setters but I promise you that you can can enjoy all that Taormina offers, on a budget.

Image result for map of where taorminia isHere is the rest of the story…

On May 25, 2017, Jason Horowitz of the New York Times penned the following report,In Taormina, a Playground for the Jet Set, Trump’s Worlds Will Collide.”


“President Trump should enjoy some respite from the rigors of his recent travels on Friday when he gazes out of his luxury suite and takes in the view of Taormina, an iridescent pearl of the Ionian Sea.”

“Despite the town’s temporary transformation into a police state in paradise for the Group of 7 summit meeting attended by Mr. Trump and other world leaders, Taormina’s postcard panoramas, its exaggerated Epcot Italian-ness and its reputation as the sun-drenched pleasure dome for reality TV stars, aging playboys and affluent Russians remain intact.”

From R-L, U.S. President Donald Trump, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Council President Donald Tusk at family photo during t Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

“It is a spot that is both exclusive and a little hokey, where those with jet-setter schedules, gilded tastes and an appreciation for luxury, models and discretion come together.”

“That’s the room Trump will stay in,” said Dino Papale, a 69-year-old Sicilian lawyer, promoter and all around bon vivant, as he leaned around his courtyard’s wall and pointed at the adjacent Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo.”

Dino Papale, a 69-year-old Sicilian lawyer, in his palazzo by the Ionian Sea. He said his loyalty to President Trump had not wavered. Credit Alessandro Grassani for The New York Times

“Mr. Papale, who pulled a red “Make America Great Again” cap over his wavy gray hair, said he met Mr. Trump several years ago and was invited to his inauguration. “I’m the president of Trump’s Sicilian fan club,” said Mr. Papale, who is also first among the many Taormina types for whom the president is a kindred spirit.”

“Days after Mr. Trump’s election in November, Mr. Papale was quoted at length in the local paper, La Sicilia, recounting that Mr. Trump had visited Taormina at his invitation in June 2013 and secretly stayed for three days at the Atlantis Bay Hotel.”

Image result for photo of atlantis bay hotel in Taormina
Atlantis Bay Hotel

“But at other points he was less definitive, saying: “It could be that it happened, because everything can be true, right? I don’t remember”; “If a friend says, ‘I’m coming to Taormina but no one can know,’ what do you do?”; and, most mischievously, “Taormina is a very discreet place” where “Americans and Russians often meet.”

“This week (5/35/17), at least, there is no mystery about Mr. Trump’s arrival. And local residents with a taste for the finer things in life eagerly awaited their international standard-bearer.

Image result for photo of Vittorio Sabato
Vittorio Sabato

“I see myself as Trump,” said Vittorio Sabato, known locally as “the Silvio Berlusconi of Taormina” as much for his short stature, age-defying black hair and open-collar panache as for his success as a businessman and politician.”

“He drove up the town’s winding roads apologizing for his BMW (“I have a Maserati and a Porsche”) and pointed out landmarks, including the hotel where he heard Mr. Trump had stayed.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF Paolo Zampolli,

“While Mr. Trump, his family and advisers have expressed especially warm feelings toward Italy — “Great people, love Italy,” Mr. Trump said repeatedly in a recent meeting with the Italian prime minister in the White House, according to a person in attendance — the president’s actual experience in Italy seems limited.”

“In 1998, he and a business associate and modeling agency impresario, went to Milan to scout potential properties, Mr. Zampolli said in an interview this week.”

San-Giuseppe-Piazza-IX Aprile
San-Giuseppe-Piazza-IX Aprile

“During the trip, Mr. Trump stopped by Fashion Week events and took in a Gianfranco Ferre show, where he sat up front with Eartha Kitt, and then sat at the runway entrance for the Donatella Versace show, during which he was near Courtney Love and was caught by paparazzi staring at Kate Moss’s pink hair.”

“When Melania Trump started modeling in her native Slovenia, her father often drove her west to Milan, where Mr. Zampolli discovered her in the mid-1990s and eventually introduced her to Mr. Trump.”

Image result for PHOTO OF Rossano Rubicondi,
Rossano Rubicondi and Ivana Trump

“Mr. Trump’s first wife, Ivana, “loves Italian men,” said Rossano Rubicondi, who was her fourth husband. Twenty-three years her junior, he parlayed their brief 2008 marriage into a spot on the Italian version of the reality show “Celebrity Island.”

Mr. Rubicondi is still happy to trade in on his tenuous Trump relationship. He is working on a new reality show about opening a pizza place near the president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. But other Trump associates in Italy have apparently made the calculation that his friendship is no longer good for business.

Image result for photo of Flavio Briatore,
Flavio Briatore, (He looks a little like Mr. Trump)

“Flavio Briatore, the Italian entrepreneur behind the Billionaire nightclub chain — he is also a convicted card cheat, a businessman banned from Formula One races for life for race fixing and the father of Heidi Klum’s child — is now perhaps best known for starring in the Italian version of “The Apprentice.”

“There was only one person that I wanted, and that was Flavio,” Mr. Trump said in a promo for the Italian show.”

TAORMINA CABLE CAR IMG6047-M“In May 2016 Mr. Briatore boasted to La Stampa, a newspaper based in Turin, about his weekend with Mr. Trump at Fashion Week in Paris in the 1990s. “I think I’m the first to bring him to Europe,” he told the paper. La Repubblica, a daily newspaper in Rome, identified him as “Trump’s best Italian friend.”

“But now Mr. Briatore, through a spokeswoman, said he had never seen Mr. Trump in Italy, that they just ran into each other in Paris and that their relationship essentially amounted to a publicity stunt.”

Greek / Roman Amphitheater
Greek / Roman Amphitheater

By contrast, Mr. Papale’s loyalty has not wavered.

“Mr. Papale walked to a table where he keeps his most prized possessions. There was a medal awarded to him by the Russian government. There, too, was a brochure for Trump Grande condominiums, a favorite destination of wealthy Russians in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and, because of his efforts, the twin city of Taormina.”

He said he was introduced to Mr. Trump there by his “dear friend” Elena Baronoff, a Soviet émigré who worked as Mr. Trump’s exclusive sales agent, helping sell at least $100 million worth of apartments to Russians.

Corso Umberto
Corso Umberto

“Ms. Baronoff, who died in 2015, was a close friend of many Russian power brokers, including the foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, according to Mr. Papale, recalling the time she told him that Mr. Lavrov was arriving by yacht from Sardinia.”

“Despite the earlier press report here, he insisted that it was not Mr. Trump who had visited Taormina in the past, but rather Michael Dezer, the wildly wealthy developer of many of Mr. Trump’s Florida properties.”

Corso Umberto shopping

Corso Umberto

“In 2012, Mr. Papale bestowed on Mr. Dezer his Wolfgang Goethe Taormina Media Award, which is usually reserved for writers who write nice things about the town. “

“He added proudly that Mr. Dezer had stood on a stage in front of his palazzo along with Ms. Baronoff and Russia’s general consul, who, on another occasion, read a message of thanks to Mr. Papale from President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia for his work in advancing the country’s image in Taormina.”


  1. Me too Gronda! Had a lovely time at a beautiful budget hotel on the top of the cliffs, beautiful view, with pool. Ate well but cheaply – gorgeous, fascinating place, what a shame He had to be there 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gronda, well the last half of DT’s trip was about as bad as it could get. He showed our allies what he thought of them, saying relationship is unimportant, and made America out to be an outlier. If he remains President for a full term, historians will view this time as the period when America ceded its moral leadership in the world…and Putin smiled.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      Somehow Putin owns DDT. It is still my opinion that DDT wants the sanctions lifted against Russia. He is getting frustrated as there are roadblocks in his way like our free press, the 3 separate branches of government, the peoples who can contact and put pressure on our politicians

      Our European friends as they looked into the cameras while they were listening to him pontificate is just priceless.

      Ciao, Gronda


    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      Thanks for the reference. As you already know, I have published a blog on this story. I bet that Gen. Flynn will get his immunity. Before he gets it, his attorney has to make a proffer of what the General will be saying.

      Ciao, Gronda


      • Mz. Gronda
        I know that sometimes I can be a bit of a pain, and probably post too much. We both are seeking the same things, such as truth and honesty to return to our government. Sometimes our research goes in slightly different directions, as I am more willing to give credibility to some sources that you don’t, but when I do there is normally other unrelated sources that give similar data to offer some semblance of truth to my opinion. Your blog is probably one of the few out there that remains focused on providing factual (well as factual as this whole ordeal allows) data and well vetted research to guide us thru this important event in our nations history. I will admit that many times, such as with this latest story, it was first mentioned on back burner sources in early April, but at that time there was simply not enough factual data to mention it. Time will tell as to who else has had contact that could be construed to be criminal in nature in this investigation…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Crustyolemothman,

          Feel free to post away to your heart’s content. I have never been of the belief that I have all the answers.

          I will say when something is of my opinion which by definition means that I could be wrong.

          It is my opinion that DDT IS AT THE VERY LEAST, AN UNWITTING ASSET FOR RUSSIA. His goal AS REFLECTED IN all his actions is to lift sanctions against Russia as he intends to benefit financially by such actions. All of his promises to his rust belt voters are nothing but hot air. He is a semi-closet racist, xenophobe, etc. and so he has attempted to live up to the promises that the alt-right love.I am saddened that he has involved his son-in-law and thus, his own daughter in his nefarious activities. Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and their ilk are in bed together.There is no way that DDT was not involved with money laundering with the Russians as they purchased his condos under LLCs and by other means. And yes, he was at the very least, coordinating with Russian operatives as its unwitting asset, to win the 2016 presidential prize. And he has probably cheated on his taxes.

          The above analysis is based on my gut; on DDT’ own behaviors; his past operational MO; and the news.

          We will see how my analysis or yours pans out. I MAY HAVE TO BUY YOU ANOTHER DRINK..

          Ciao, Gronda


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