Let's hope they're clouds and not steam
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the island of Sicily, a region of southern Italy. Depending on your interests, this beautiful area can be an ideal vacation spot. You can get classic Italian food, and wash it down with fine local wine. And parts of Sicily haven’t yet been discovered by tourists. This short article presents eastern Sicily. A companion article presents western Sicily; another presents the capital Palermo.
Messina is Sicily’s third largest city. Founded by the Ancient Greeks it often changed hands over the centuries. The University of Messina started out as the world’s first Jesuit College, founded by St. Ignatius himself. In 1908 the city was virtually destroyed by an earthquake and the ensuing tsunami. Make sure to see the cathedral, the Calapaj Palace, and the Sixteenth Century lighthouse.
Don’t miss the walled village of Castelmola a few miles from the coast with its ancient streets and spectacular view. If your health permits, climb the mountain path to the ruins of the Thirteenth Century Norman Castle. The view is spectacular.
Taormina has been discovered by tourists. What a beautiful view, especially from the funivia (gondola). The Greek theater runs in the summer and Taormina boasts two top-of-the-line hotels.
Mount Etna is Europe’s largest and highest volcano. It is still active. Depending on the weather report climb part of it or take the train around the mountain base.
The Hotel Villa Paradiso Dell’Etna started as a bohemian hangout and is now quite pricey.
Catania at the foot of Mount Etna is Sicily’s second largest city. Its volcanic soil is great for agriculture, particularly wine. Catania was buried in lava seven times; many of its buildings are constructed from lava. Visit its cathedral.
Siracusa (Syracuse) was founded by Greek colonists. Its theater was built for 15,000 spectators and produces Greek tragedies in May and June. Make sure to see the Papyrus Museum, the Archeological Museum, historic churches and palaces, and the neighboring Ortygia Island, known as Città Vecchia (Old City) with its own cathedral.
Sicilian ices are famous even if they no longer contain snow from Mount Etna. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – Eastern Sicily for a sample menu and more information on local wines as well as an in-depth examination of its tourist attractions. Sicily is Italy’s largest wine producer. An independent Sicily would be the world’s seventh largest wine producer.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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