Travel: Taormina and Mt. Etna, Sicily

We are back from a short trip to Sicily. This was my first trip to Sicily ever - and I really enjoyed it. Although in 2 days I only got a very short impression, it worth it. I like Sicily! I like the landscape, the food, the sweets, the marmelade, the wine, the ceramics ...

"Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blΓΌhn?" - Goethe

sweets made of marzipan and citrus fruits

typical Sicilian ceramic heads to use as flower pots

But lets start at the beginning: I was impressed how fast we made it to Sicily: starting after breakfast in Pizzo / Vibo Marina, we made it to Taormina easily before lunch (even including a flat tire on the poor "autostrada" that is under re-construction until Reggio Calabria).

Get off the freeway at Villa San Giovanni and take the ferry to Messina. At this time of the year (even it was Easter Holiday also for Italians), there was no queue for the ferry boats that run all the time. It is an about 30 minutes ride through the Strait of Messina (at its narrowest point 3,1 km).

From Messina you reach Taormina after a short drive on the freeway with lots of tunnels. Meanwhile it was noon. But we still had enough time to get a first impression of this pittoresque little city and its narrow and steep aleys. After a typical Sicilian lunch we visited the ancient Greek theater and took lots of pictures of the stunning view of Mt. Etna.

here with sunshine: cartolina da Taormina

During this time of the year the top (about 3.350 m) is still covered by snow. However, you do not need to bring your hiking equipment. You can drive up to a gondola station located in the Southern part of the Etna national park. This will take you until 2.500 meters hight. And if you like, Unimogs take you further up to interesting craters where you can walk with a guide. Even hinking boots and jackets are for rent (and socks for sale). We did not go further then the gondola station as it was quiet windy that day and we were not prepared for temperatures below zero degree Celsius and snow.

Here I am posing next to one of the Unimogs.

There are ski lifts - you can ski on the vulcano during winter !
All the black is lava !

There are around 100 craters - its Europe's largest active vulcano !

So, while in Pizzo, I can recommend even just a 1 day-trip to Taormina, if you do not have too much time and are motorized. If you have more time, spend one night at one of the plenty B&Bs and visit the largest active European vulcano, Mount Etna - it is a must adventure and great fun, especially for kids.