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Cyclop's riviera & Acireale Baroque area half day tour 20€ per person
The highest active volcano in Europe (10.000 ft), mt Etna is a real must in a Tour of Sicily. The excursion we run will offer you an impressive sequence of different sceneries, the typical Mediterranean vegetation of citrus groves down below, gradually shifting to vineyards and chestnut woods in the lower slopes, up to the top level, where vegetation leaves space to the dreadful lava fields and the dazzling snow.
Many little towns crowning the volcano add more interest to the tour. Surprisingly the Etna district, despite the frequent eruptions is the most intensively inhabited area in the whole island.
We reach the highest point of the panoramic road, (6.000 ft) where you can observe the spectacular lava front of August 2001and 2003-4 and visit some of the extinct craters (Crateri Silvestri). Along the way we can observe the developments of the most important recent eruptions (1971, 1983, 1992 2001, 2003-2004).
No matter which season you elect, make sure you wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes. If you like, you may arrange with your driver a stop in a winery, or a traditional sanctuary, or in a typical Etna lava stone village to taste some of the delicious local specialties as granita, cannoli, almond pastries, Sicilian pizzas etc.
Perched on a rock, laying on a natural terrace high above the Ionian sea, with Etna in the background, Taormina is held to be the highlight of tourism in Sicily, and one of the best attractions of the Mediterranean, as for the cruisers; reports. Despite its small size, Taormina has a remarkable history, now witnessed by great monuments, ranging from the Greek classic age as the famous Greek Theater up to the medieval time showed in his Gothic-Catalan architecture.
From the late 1700, Taormina became a must destination of an ideal Romantic Tour of Italy, owing its fortune to the unique combination of a sound classic heritage in a frame of preserved natural beauty.
Ever since Wolfgang Goethe left enthusiastic memories of this place, a number of artists was driven to visit or settle in Taormina: Guy de Maupassant, André Gide, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann, Roger Peyrefitte, to name a few; each drawing creative energies from the primitive nature of the site. Do not miss a walk along Corso Umberto, the main street, always dense with life, with elegant buildings, shops and breathtaking panoramic views over the sea.
The home of Archimedes, Syracuse still maintains an extremely rich monumental patrimony which speaks of its glorious past, when it was a wealthy and powerful Greek colony in competition with Athens, Rome and Carthage. The tour we propose starts at the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, where you can see an impressive number of famous monuments concentrated in a short range: the Greek theatre (the largest in Sicily), the Roman amphitheater, the Ear of Dionysus and the altar of sacrifices, in a majestic frame of stone quarries. Later we transfer into the island of Ortigia, a very charming place next to the harbor, with important monuments such as the temple of Athena(nowadays the Cathedral of Syracuse) and the Arethusa Spring, an amazing fresh water spring gushing out next to the sea, whose story is fading into the legend.
Catania, the major town in Eastern Sicily, will delight you for the elegance of its baroque architecture, the glamour of Via Etnea, the fashion of its shops, the exuberance of the fish market.
Moreover Catania has fine monuments dating back to Greek, Roman, Norman and Swabian times; a splendid Opera House and a charming ornamental garden, both dedicated to Vincenzo Bellini.
Catania enjoys a lasting reputation of being very lively and dynamic, especially at night. Do not miss the most typical ritual of a soda drink, flavoured with lemon and salt, served by the local "chiosco" stands in the centre.
Leaving Catania, heading north to Acireale, we ride along the Riviera, a beautiful stretch of sea, dense with life and spotted with picturesque fishermen villages in a beautiful scenery of lava rocks and lush lemon groves, bordering the sea. A stop at Aci Castello will allow us the visit of an impressive Norman fortress on top of a remote volcanic rock. Right next, in the water front of Aci Trezza, the mythological Cyclop Rocks will remind us of epical struggles between Ulysses and Poliphemus.
Unique in the Italian and European natural landscape, the Alcantara Gorges are one of the must see attractions of Sicily. Located about 20 km from Taormina, the gorges are real canyons made of black lava walls up to 50 meters high, in the typical shape of a prism that the rocks have taken during the cooling process.
Within the gorges, the toning and crystal clear waters of the river Alcantara run surrounded by an unspoiled landscape, with rare flora and fauna. The purity of the natural habitat has been facilitated by its hidden position, which has preserved its existence; until the fifties in fact this site was completely unknown.
The Alcantara Gorges have by now become a famous attraction even beyond national borders, and it is considered one of the most beautiful and natural sites in Italy.
The discrict of baroque
Unmissable stage of this thematic tour is of course Val di Noto, this territory represents an extraordinary evidence of the Late Baroque architecture. This tour is a focus on the Unesco attractions to promote this extraordinary reality. Our visit will start with the beautiful town of Noto, capital of Sicilian Baroque architecture, a walk along the monumental Corso Umberto where the reconstructed cathedral rise, the theatre and Palazzo Nicolaci, will lead you in an enchanted atmosphere.
We will continue to Modica, a city that will surprise you with the beauty and majesty of its buildings and churches, the elegance of its streets. The town is located at the foot of a rocky ridge, where once flowed two rivers, now buried. The knowledge of the city can not neglect a greedy visit to the many shops that produce and sell the delicious chocolate of Modica
From Modica we will proceed towards Scicli in the southern part of the island, an authentic spot which boasts beautiful examples of Baroque kept within its historic center. The city is perched on three different headlands and occupy a strategic position overlooking the fertile plateau. In this area the first human settlements, among the oldest in Sicily, have been detected.
Our visit will end in Ragusa Ibla, the stone gardens land. A walk through its narrow streets will lead us to the heart of the district, the charming Piazza Duomo, dominated by the Basilica of San Giorgio. Together with Scicli, stage of Commissario Montalbano television’s fiction.
Villa romana del casale e Caltagirone
Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina is famous for its more than 3500 square metres of golden glittering mosaics in an excellent state of preservation. It is considered as the largest roman residential building of the Mediterranean. It is called “Villa” but it is an Imperial noble Palace, whose remains are situated few kilometers away from the little town of Piazza Armerina. The beautiful Imperial “villa” placed in the Roman heart of Sicily, in the province of Enna, is a magnificent hunting lodge, whose charm comes from its excellently preserved mosaics, which depict with sharp and moving images from everyday life and mythological tales, which significantly decorate the remains of this ravishing residence included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.
After the visit of the Roman Villa del Casale is possible to explore the nearby baroque town of Caltagirone, awarded with UNESCO World Heritage, and known as the city of ceramics. Pottery has been a way of life here for hundreds of years as result of an endless supply of good quality local clay. The most popular style is majolica, a tin-glazed pottery in dazzling hues. Hand painted tiles in vibrant blue and yellows can be seen all over the town, in houses and churches, parks and squares. A walk around the alleys of the historical center will allow you to enjoy its exceptional monumental heritage rich in churches, fine buildings, eighteenth-century villas and the scenic Santa Maria del Monte stairway, famous for the 142 steps with ceramic tiles, symbol of the city, the Villa Comunale and the many craft shops where you can buy real ceramic jewelry.
Authentic traditional cusine, at the home of Sicilians
A different way to discover a new culture from the inside and enjoy the authentic Sicilian food.
An appetizing menu to make you discover one of the most celebrated attraction of Sicily: its gastronomic tradition! The host selected is pleased to meet you and share his food story with you, preparing a “from farm to fork” menu, selecting according with the season the best Sicilian Bio product, to provide you a unique menu.
A rewarding social eating experience aiming to savor delicious Sicilian recipes in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere. Menu provides: Appetizers, starter, main course, dessert, drinks, digestive liqueur, coffee.
The other side of the volcano: a eno gastronomic tour
Sicily is the region with the most ancient tradition in wine making. So ancient to fade into the mythological legend: the image of Ulysses Odysseus- generously serving cups of wine to the giant Polyphemus has deeply marked the collective imagery of western world. Afterall the monster with a single front eye, who throws big rocks into the Ionian sea, is just a symbolic figuration of a crater (or the volcano itself) as it was appearing to the eyes, fascinated and frightened, of the first Greek settlers who arrived in Sicily back in the 8th century BC.
No wonder, then, if the association of wine-volcano has a long lasting appeal, deeply rooted, as it is witnessed by the coins minted 5 centuries B.C. and the presence of qualities of grapes that were cultivated here in the remote past, and also ancient mores related to the harvest and wine making.
It is not a case that the mythological name of this land was Enotria, before being named "Trinacria" by the Greeks. Wine has continued ever since to be a permanent distinctive sign of the territory, regarding both the agriculture and the economy.
In the last decades a radical innovation has improved the quality of the product, together with the introduction of new qualities of vines, with surprising excellent results.
So the attractions of Etna are not confined to geology and vulcanology of the highest active volcano in Europe but they also encompass a rewarding range of tastes for the delight of the tourist gourmand.
The landscape, rich and varied, does not provide only dreadful lava fields, but shows also an extraordinary richness of lush vegetation, often marked by typical coltures.
Local country fairs from time to time propose the authentic tastes of the volcano: Together with wine, main actor of the scene, the chestnuts, the mushrooms from the woods, the pistachio from Bronte, the cactus of Belpasso and Biancavilla, honey from Zafferana, the hazelnuts from the valley of the Alcantara river.....
Famous movies location in Sicily
A stimulating itinerary among the famous movies location in Sicily.
"Sicily is cinema"(Leonardo Sciascia)
Thanks to its beautiful natural landscapes, to the fascinating ancient villages, to its cities rich in art
and history, Sicily has always offered beautiful locations to the directors, from Tornatore films to
those of Luchino Visconti, passing through the godfather by Francis Ford Coppola. We discover
the Sicilian cities that have been the stage for the most famous films. Movie tourism offers the
opportunity not only to see the locations of the most famous movies filmed in Sicily, but also to
revive the emotions evoked by the films and discover some unknown little villages.
We report below only a few of the most representative films:
La terra trema by Luchino Visconti (1948). Capomulini e Acitrezza picturesque seaside villages.
Il Gattopardo by Luchino Visconti (1963). Palermo, Boscogrande, Cimminà e Cefalù.
Il Padrino by Francis Ford Coppola (1972). Forza d’Agrò, Savoca e Fiumefreddo characteristic villages.
Nuovo cinema Paradiso by Giuseppe Tornatore (1988). Palazzo Adriano charming village , Ventimiglia family castle in Castelbuono e Cefalù.
Il postino by Massimo Troisi (1994). The enchanting Salina island
L’uomo delle stelle by Giuseppe Tornatore (1995) Ragusa Ibla glamorous old town and Monterosso Almo, Marzamemi picturesque seaside village
Il commissario Montalbano by Andrea Camilleri (1999) The ravishing Ragusa Ibla e Scicli
Malena by Giuseppe Tornatore (2000) The intriguing Ortigia island and Noto, the white cliff of Scala dei Turchi near Porto Empedocle (Agrigento)
I cento passi by Marco Tullio Giordana (2000) Palermo town
Baaria by Giuseppe Tornatore (2009) Bagheria village
La Mafia Uccide solo d’estate by Pierfrancesco Diliberto detto Pif (2013) Palermo town
In guerra per amore by Pierfrancesco Diliberto detto Pif (2016) Erice magnificent medieval village , Trapani salt flats, Scala dei Turchi white cliff, Custonaci amazing village.
Back to your roots
Discover the land of your ancestors
My way to Sicily provides a unique travel experience for those who are eager to know more about
their family history and ancestral origins. Envision the fullness in your heart as you share photos
with family you never knew existed or walk the cobblestoned streets through your ancestors’
village to the church where your great-great-grandfather was married. Enjoy visiting the place
where your ancestors lived, our heritage trips provide you the opportunity to experience the
culture of your heritage and create memories for future generations.
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