An itinerary to the slopes of Mount Etna, towering over Taormina, is “a landscape in which everything seems created on earth to seduce the eyes, the mind, and the imagination,” according to the writer Guy de Maupassant.
The first chapter of this adventure is a blend of nature and art. The visit begins at the Greek Theater, with its characteristic circular shape, where gladiatorial battles took place during Roman times.
The historic center is a succession of monumental churches, including the 14th-century Cathedral, and noble palaces. The most famous is Palazzo Corvaja, which combines Arab, Norman, and Gothic styles in its majestic appearance.
The second stop is a few kilometers from Taormina and is Giardini-Naxos, with tombs dating back to the Bronze Age, the sacred area, the imposing Castle of Schisò, and the Alcantara Gorges.
On the way to Catania, two other villages are worth a stop: Acireale and Acicastello. The former is famous for its sulfuric thermal waters and its rich Baroque historic center.
The symbol of “Aci” is its black Norman Castle, built with lava stone, which dominates the fascinating Cyclops Riviera.
The next stop is Mount Etna, with its incredible landscapes. During periods of volcanic calm, it is possible to take nature trails on the slopes of the mountain, while in winter months, every slope becomes an incredible snow-covered ski slope.
Catania also deserves a visit. Its symbol is the black volcanic stone elephant, supporting an Egyptian obelisk. The elephant is located in the center of Piazza Duomo, overshadowed by the Church of Sant’Agata, with its marvelous Baroque style.
In these four stops, it is truly possible to discover a Sicily where every virtue is present: stunning nature, rich history, and the enveloping culture that cannot be missed.