We LOVE Sicily and recommend to explore as much as you can of this big, varied and absolutely amazing island during your stay here. We will suggest, organize and book each and any type of experience, adventure, excursion or holiday to suit you like the hand in the glove.
There are numerous ways to explore Sicily:
By foot: there are numerous stunning trekking trails booth near and far.
Bicycle: it’s not recommended for beginners but a favorite among bicycle enthusiasts.
Motor Vehicle: by Car, 4WD or Bus. Is probably the easiest way to get around and explore as much of Sicily as possible. However if you don’t plan to go that far we can recommend a trip by the Italian classic, the Vespa.
Plane or Helicopter: WOW! Seeing Mount Etna or the Aeolian Islands form the air is absolutely amazing. Great if your time is limited; you can fly over to Panarea for lunch and be back in your hotel by the afternoon, if you so wish.
Paraglider and Hang-glider. In some beautiful nearby hilly villages there are international para and hang glider clubs where one can also take lessons by professional teachers.
Yacht, Fishing boat, Canoe or Sailboat: a daytrip visiting bays and caves below Taormina or a cruise around the Aeolian Islands. Sicily has a lot of islands, each one with its own unique characteristics and varied stretches of cost-line, from black lava rocks, powdery white sand, coarse golden sand, smooth white sandstone or round pebbles, clear water stunning bays and picturesque habours, making it ideal to be explored by sea.
Diving, Snorkeling, Free-diving and Scuba: see the magic world underneath the surface of the sea. Isola Bella is a marine reserve full of fish that could almost be classified as tame, you can feed them from your hands. In the deep waters further out you can find dolphins. Big parts of the film ”The Big Blue”, (by Luc Besson in 1988 , with Jean Reno, Rosanna Arquette and Jean-Marc Marr) was filmed right here in Taormina.
By Train: beautiful views over the ocean, old train stations and the Sicilian backcountry. Ideal for the independent traveller who doesn’t want to drive, but not recommended if you are in a hurry.
Thanks to Mount Etna, with her impressive 3350 meters above sea level, snow-capped for half of the year and with many natural springs, we are blessed with a very lush and green vegetation in the whole eastern part of Sicily. With the rich volcanic soil and it’s particular micro climate, the slopes of Etna is the ideal place to grow all types of fruit and vegetables, and of course grapes. The area is famous for its native grapes and its world class wineries, that we warmly recommend to visit.
Etna is a must-see! By foot, 4WD, skiing or from the air. She’s the tallest Vulcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world but she is very well monitored m,aking it possible to get very close to the craters.
Many films have used this moonlike landscape as backdrop, from Indian Bollywood movies to George Lucas Star Wars (the third film Revenge of the Sith)
Vulcano Etna in the summer
Snow-capped vulcano Etna
Vulcano, one of the 7 Aeolian Islands, with Lipari, Panarea and Stromboli in the distance
"Vendemmia" grape harvest
South of Sciacca
Returning to the harbour of Giardini Naxos, just below Taormina
View that can be enjoyed flying in or out of Catania
The Greek amphitheatre of Taormina
Villa Franca, sunset over the Aeolian islands
Stromboli, Aeolian islands
Riofavara vinery, Noto Vally
Fichi d'India, prickly pear
Ceramics from Caltagirone
"Santuario della Madonna di Tindari", with the natural reserve lakes of Marinello
Traditional Sicilian cart, "Carretto Siciliano", on Taormina's main square
"Ricci" are best eaten fresh and raw, or on your pasta.
Vulcano, Aeolian Islands
Traditional ceramic decoration for good luck.
Savoca, many scenes from the film "The Godfather" were shot here
Locally grown fruit and vegetables
The old pimpstone mine on Lipari, Aeolian Islands
4WD on the slopes of Etna
Freshly caught octupus is one of many Sicilian culinary specialties
Isola Bella, Taormina
Cooking class, Taormina
Catholic procession, on the main street of Taormina
Meat market Catania
Lake in the Nebrodi mountains
Ceramics in Santo Sefano di Camastra
Locally grown artichokes
Taormina from above
Antique amphitheatre Siracusa
One of Etna's many eruptions. She's one of the most active Vulcanos in the world and the highest in Europe.
Bar Vitelli Savoca, famous from the film "The Godfather"
Traditional Sicilian ceramic heads "Teste di Moro"
Grape harvest in the Noto valley
Baywatch near Sciacca
Freshly made "Granita" with "Brioche", the classical summer breakfast for the locals
Black sand beach on island Vulcano, Aeolian Islands
Making natural biological wine like in the old days, Riofavara in Val di Noto
View of Vulcano Etna from Castlemola
Santo Stefano di Camastra...almost every shop is a ceramic shop. The craft goes many generations deep
Close-up of a shoe during the grape harvest
Siracusa, St Lucia church
Taormina beach in high-season
Etna in the summer
The famous Greek amphitheatre with views of the Ionian sea and a snow-capped mount Etna.
Panarea helicopter pad with Stromboli in the distance
View from Castelmola, looking west
Isola Bella, Taormina sea
Wood-sculptor's studio Catania
Vendicari natural reserve
Mazzarò bay, Taormina
Marzamemi, when the church gets too hot and small
Catania fish market
Vendicari natural reserve
Street fruit stand in Palarmo
And even more ways to experience it:
– Take a cooking class to learn the local cuisine and impress your friends at your return.
– Wine tasting in one of the world class wineries.
– Eat breakfast like the locals at Bam Bar with freshly made Granita and Brioche, with or without cream and of course followed by an espresso.
– Listen to Jazz and drink an ”aperitivo” (the locals prefer an ”Aperol Spritz”) at classy hotel Metropole, right on the main street Corso Umberto.
– Take a Godfather tour and discover the magic places from the films by Francis Ford Coppola.
– Hike the fresh waters of The Alcantara Gorges (deep incisions in volcanic rocks and cliffs, caused by the eruptions of Mount Etna).
– Visit one of the numerous food and wine festivals.
– Explore the Baroque towns and learn their fascinating history.
– Get tickets to an opera, ballet or concert at Taormina’s antique Greek theatre with one of the world’s most beautiful views over the sea and mount Etna.
– Go shopping. If you like high-end shopping, Taormina is for you, with prices lower than those of the major Italian cities.
– Get up early to see the bustling food markets in Catania.
– Go natural reserve hopping for a real nature experience.
– Take a Sicilian round trip by car.
– Taste the street food in Catania or Palermo.
– Party all night long at nightclub Raya on the sensual Panarea, Aeolian Islands.
There are endless things to do, see and experience. Have a look at Ami’s private blog to get inspired. You will find articles, photos and info bout Taormina and Sicily. blog.amielsius.com