Mediterranean cruise passengers disembarking on the east coast of Sicily should consider visiting Taormina and Mount Etna. Taormina is located midway between Catania and Messina, two popular ports.
Visitors flock to this part of Sicily to see the spectacular Ionian Sea coastline, the quaint town of Taormina, and to hike around Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe.
Most day travelers visiting Taormina are charmed by the narrow streets and medieval styled buildings. A multistoried clock tower is a landmark that will help misguided tourists from going too far astray. Crowds tend to gather in the main piazza and also stroll around looking for souvenirs or a light snack. There are plenty of little passageways that are ripe for adventure and possibly great photo opportunities. Some provide amazing views of the coastline and tidbits of Taormina’s past.
History lovers will find remnants of mosaic floors, a partially restored Greek theater, structures that date back to the Middle Ages, and minuscule evidence of a Jewish community that was expelled from Sicily in 1492. Near the vicinity of the Greek Theater, it is possible to get photos of Mount Etna.
Consider wandering off the beaten path to the local park that hosts lovely vegetation and a few memorials from World War II. Few people frequent this area; so enjoy a respite from the touristy atmosphere of the main street.
The distance between Taormina is approximately 60 Km. In 2013, this volcano was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The surrounding area is blessed with abundant fertile soil that enhances the growth of a variety of vegetation. Visitors can explore the designated hiking paths as long as the volcano is cooperating. Crateri Silvestri is one location worth checking out.
Before You Go
Explore your options and decide how much time you want to spend commuting from one place to another. The bus ride can be a deal breaker for people who would prefer to walk rather than sit. Sometimes it’s simply a necessity to travel a long distance to see an historical site or a natural phenomenon.
Remember that the temperature will be cooler on the top of Mount Etna than in Taormina. Always be prepared for the possibility of rain or snow showers. Yes, it does snow in the wintertime and people ski on this famous volcano. Don’t forget to bring sufficient water, especially if you’re going to be walking about.
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