Etna, called Mungibeddu by the Sicilians, is the highest volcano in Europe. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage properties, this mountain will leave you breathless. Snowy in winter, the volcano offers a unique and unforgettable view.
On the volcano there’s the Astrophysical Observatory that has been used used by the National Institute of Astrophysics since 1880. The observatory organizes guided tours for the public with interesting explanations of celestial phenomena.
The town of Giarre is located in a beautiful position between the foot of the volcano and the coast overlooking the Ionian Sea. Here we can visit the Cathedral, dedicated to St. Isidore, the Church of the Oratory of St. Filippo Neri, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Road and the Palazzo Bonaventura.
The small town of Nicolosi near Catania is the starting point for many excursions to Mount Etna and includes a panoramic cable-car.
In the town you can visit the Volcanology Museum of Etna, with a series of documents and multimedia courses to learn about the functioning of volcanoes, their formation, their relationship with man. An interesting part is the one about earthquakes, using a simulator that allows us to experience the earthquake and learn what behaviors to adopt in case of emergency.
Visiting the House-Museum of Rural Life we can go back in time between the nineteenth and the twentieth century thanks to the work tools and objects daily used by local farmers when farming was the main source of livelihood.
The town of Zafferana is characterized by its wonderful landscape, situated on the slopes of the volcano. Here we can visit the Mother Church dedicated to St. Mary of Providence, patron of the town. The church is accessed by an impressive staircase, the facade is made of white stone with twin bell towers and was built in the late nineteenth century, but has some details in the Baroque style.
The Church S. Maria delle Grazie is a small building with the facade in Liberty style, with a small bell tower and a clock tower. The interior preserves a wooden statue of Our Lady of Grace located on the main altar and a beautiful painting of the Annunciation.
The Town Hall of Zafferana, restored a few years ago, is a beautiful example of Art Nouveau style with battlements and balconies, the entrance of the palace is made of a double staircase which includes the statue of the painter Sciuti, born in Zafferana. On top of the main window we can see in detail a coat of arms with Etna erupting.
In Aci reale we can visit the cathedral dedicated to Maria Santissima Annunziata. The facade is characterized by two twin bell towers. Inside, the church houses several masterpieces including funeral monuments, frescoes and statues, plus a chiseled silver fercolo which contains the relics of the saint.
Aci trezza, a small fishing village, was founded by Prince Riggio. It all started with the foundation of the Palace of Prince Riggio in mid-eighteenth century, a fortified structure in front of the sea built to withstand the attacks of the Turks. The palace has now been replaced by other buildings.