On Top of Etna

Sicily, Italy. Another long weekend road trip around Europe and in this beautiful part of the world, we were able to cram in a multitude of different towns along the way each with their own unique charm. We flew into Catania airport on the eastern side of the island and picked up our set of wheels, we headed north to spend the day in the popular town of Taormina. Another very pretty place and worth a look around, we went up to the top of the hill to see the ancient Greek amphitheater, you also get lovely views of Taormina and surrounding areas and on a clear day, Etna standing proud in the distance which was exactly now where we were headed.

 

Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Ancient Theatre of Taormina, Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Ancient Theatre of Taormina, Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Following the winding roads as we ascended up the mountain,we soon found ourselves on top (well nearly) of the highest active volcano in Europe just in time for sunset. We spent the night here in a hotel just at the base of the cable car and got up early to beat the crowds. After the cable car you board a jeep which looks more like a monster truck to take you the next stint of the journey, being blazing hot sunshine at the bottom, we were quite unprepared for the very chilly winds at the top. Luckily they have thought of this scenario and jackets were available to hire, Phew!

Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy

Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy

Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy

After a walk around some craters from previous eruptions, we went back down to the normal summer temperatures and drove to Syracuse, lots to see and do here, we enjoyed walking around the pretty streets, visited the old castle at the edge of the city and saw the Ear of Dionysius, a large ear shaped cave carved into the Temenites hill as an old limestone quarry. When we went inside there were a large group of ladies singing  creating an impressive echo (I guess that’s what you do here).

Syracuse, Sicily, Italy

Maniace Castle, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy

 

Ear of Dionysius, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy

We finished our road trip with a drive to Noto, a very small but beautiful town not too far from Syracus but a bit more inland. I always like places where it’s hard to spot another tourist and this was one of them, but with what it has to offer it shouldn’t be! Stunning cathedrals and churches and nice surprises like art work going up the steps on  old narrow streets.

Noto, Sicily, Italy

Noto, Sicily, Italy

See all my photos from the trip below.

Countries Visited: 59 / 195
Continents Visited: 6 / 7