10. Villa del Filosofo

Villa del Filosofo - APT 6pax (District Taormina - Catania - Etna)

Beds: 6 - Rooms: 3 - Bathrooms: 2

Just a short drive from Giardini and some glorious sandy and pebble beaches, Villa del Filosofo has recently been restored and refurbished to exacting standards. The interiors feature a blend of local, elegant and traditional pieces, many of which are originals from the owners’ Sicilian family. The house is surrounded by a luxuriant garden, fruit trees and plenty of outside living areas. It is perfect for large groups requiring flexibility, a certain amount of individual privacy and great communal areas where everyone can come together. 

Villa del Filosofo is spread between two Apartments at the ground floor of a charming Sicilian style Villa on the slopes of Mount Etna. The two Apartments can be reserved individually (by single families) or, instead,  jointly (by larger groups), making it a superb choice for reunions of family and friends, for a maximum of 11 guests

The entrances overlook an intimate courtyard where a majestic ficus australis gently encloses the garden and the pathio: adorable place where spending your dinners in relax.

The first Apartment comfortably fits 4-5 persons. The bright living room with sofa leads to the equipped country kitchen. Adjacent, two large bedrooms: a double with king-size bed and one with three single beds. The en-suite shower room completes the accommodation in the Apartment.

The second Apartment accommodates up to 5-6 persons. The entrance, overlooking the panoramic pathio, leads to the equipped kitchen, handy for preparing tea and coffee or breakfast and a central living area. From here one may access to the two bedrooms, each one fitting 2-3 person, with two en-suite bathrooms.

Furnishings throughout are both elegant and genuine, and typically Sicilian. You will experience the setting of Sicilian Renaissaince.

The large gardens are completely surrounded by a shady forest and feature a dining area, several shady areas for relaxing, lush lawns, an orchard with orange and lemon trees, and a wide variety of plants, including a superb ancient bamboo-orchard. The private swimming pool, situated just on a terracing, has a nice pathio with barbecue and outdoor kitchen, a changing room and shower room. The shady pergola area just beside the pool provides a welcome respite when the sun is at its zenith.

Mature shady grounds wrap around the property, creating a tranquil cocoon in which guests may truly relax and unwind.

Prices include all sales taxes, linen, bath towels, pool and/or beach towels, a comprehensive written guide to the villa and the local area, midweek cleaning and linen change for long stay (after one week), our award-winning service and specialist knowledge pre and post-booking and 24/7 local support while you’re on holiday.

Cleanings and cooking service during the stay, on request.

Standard Rate from 800Euros* per week. The rate may vary according to season, number of guests and lenght of stay. 

Please Send an Email Enquiry from our form just below for direct booking and more information...

 

Map

Amenities

Week Linen change - on request

Washing Machine

TV

Swimming Pool

SunTripSicily local support 24/7

Pool-Beach towels

Playground

Parking Area

Outdoor shower

Moka Pot - Coffee maker

Kettle

Internet WiFi

In-Villa Car Hire Delivery

Heating

Hairdryer

Garden

Drinkable water

Daily cleaning - on request

Bed Sheets

Bath towels

Barbecue area

Airport transfers - on request

Air Conditioning

Make an Enquiry Villa del Filosofo - APT 6pax












What our guests say about us:

We really enjoyed our stay in this very complete apartment. The views are very pleasant from the private terrace, the swimming pool and surrounding area are very nice. It's at a good central location to make day trips to the Etna, Taormina etcetera. The hosts were fantastic and very helpful. Extra pillows and fans in the two bedrooms without A/C would be great, but other than that we had a great holiday!

We really enjoyed our stay and appreciate your help, patience and kindness! Than you very much!

The house was comfortable for a family of 5 including 3 teenagers. We loved the pool and views of Etna. There were a few details that needing addressing when we arrived but they were very quickly sorted out by SuntripSicily who also provided a lot of local information to welcome us. It was a super base to explore the east coast - we even made it to spiaggia Vendicari and enjoyed Noto and Syracuse on the way home.

Excellent communication/management by Giovanni. Older style country house, though all facilities are available. Location is quite strategic, in reach of most places of interest (by car).

Area: District Taormina - Catania - Etna

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TAORMINA

Idyllically perched on a rocky promontory high above the sea, Taormina has been the most popular tourist destination in Sicily for a couple of hundred of years, ever since it became an integral part of the Grand Tour. Beautifully restored mediaeval buildings, breathtaking views around every corner and a giddy network of winding streets strewn with shops, bars and restaurants make for a perfect holiday spot.

Taormina’s past is Sicily’s history in a microcosm: Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, the French and the Spanish all came, saw, conquered and left.

Tauromenium, built on Monte Tauro, was founded by Andromacus at the behest of Dionysius the Tyrant of Syracuse in 392BC. The first Punic War saw Taormina falling to the Romans in 212BC and the town became a favorite holiday spot for Patricians and Senators, thus starting Taormina’s long history as a tourist resort.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Byzantines came only to be ousted by the Arabs in 962. They changed the name to Almoezia and set about introducing new agricultural practices (irrigation and citrus fruit farming) and other more cerebral pursuits such as philosophy, medicine and mathematics. Taormina continued to prosper both culturally and economically with the arrival of the Normans in 1079, who, under King Roger de Hautville, threw the Arabs out of Sicily.

stairs-taormina-suntripsicily

After a brief period of Swabian rule, under Frederick II, Charles of Anjou was pronounced King of Sicily by the Pope. The people of Taormina refused to recognize this interloper as their king and, along with a great many other Sicilian towns, joined in the revolt against French rule during the Sicilian Vespers of 1282.

A hundred years of uncertainty followed before the Spanish took over affairs. Evidently impressed with Taormina, they chose Palazzo Corvaja as the seat of the Sicilian Parliament.
The rest, as they say, is storia.

As soon as you arrive in Taormina, you will feel the magical, mythical atmosphere spread all around which has enchanted visitors from all over the world for years and years.

Goethe wrote: “Without Sicily, Italy creates no image in the soul: here is the key to everything”.

teatro-greco-taormina-suntripsicily

In Taormina we suggest to visit the Greek Theatre the second-largest in Sicily after the one in Siracusa. Though originally built in the Hellenistic period, it was completely reconstructed by the Romans and used for gladiatorial shows. The theater is situated at the very top of a hill, leveled for the purpose, using the natural incline of the valley for the "cavea": the auditorium seating. The majestic panorama, combined with a spectacular view of Etna and the Calabrian mountains, renders this hollowed out hill a natural stage, as well as a stage for natural beauty. Then, the center of Taormina which radiates from the main thoroughfare, Corso Umberto I. Stroll along it beginning at Porta Messina as it gently climbs up to Porta Catania. Don’t forget the Fountain in Piazza Duomo, a Barocco style fountain, built in 1635, in Taormina marble; Palazzo Corvaja, which is one of Taormina’s historical landmarks. Its architecture is a mixture of styles (from Arabian to Norman to Gothic) due to the different eras during which it was built and extended. The Public Gardens, where there is a thick vegetation and a typically Mediterranean array of hedges and flower-beds with cobbled paths which lengthwise connect the almost three hectares of park. In the centre and on the north-east end of the gardens, there are some characteristic pagoda-style towers with arabesque designs, made of bricks and edged with lavic pumice-stone.

“If one has never seen oneself completely surrounded by the sea, one has no idea of the world and one’s own relationship with the world. As an artist drawing landscapes, that great simple line has given me completely new ideas.”  (Goethe)

So, let’s enjoy Sicily beautiful coastline! A cable car links Taormina with Mazzarò on the coast. The little bay of Mazzarò is enclosed on the south side by Capo Sant’Andrea which is riddled with caves and grottoes, including the Blue Grotto. Beyond the headland is the delightful bay that sweeps round to Isola Bella, linked to main shore by a narrow strip of land. Very closed to Taormina is Giardini Naxos, the beach on which the first Greek colonists probably landed 2700 years ago, and which now accommodates thousands of tourists due to its charming position, the particularly mild climate, the long beach and the splendid scenery. Concerning the Alcantara Gorge, it is a part of a vast nature area formed by canyons of ancient lava flows traversed by the Alcantara river and dotted with amazing waterfalls and ponds!

ETNA

Mongibello, as the Etna is also known, is the highest summit in Sicily. Cloaked in snow during winter, it is one of Europe’s best known active volcanoes. Its height, continuously modified by eruptions, is around 3,350m. With its dramatic volcanic displays, Etna is one of the island’s most interesting sites and the area also has a fascinating, artistic, cultural and culinary heritage, which includes Etna wine, pistachio nuts, honey, fragrant granite and warm brioche. Etna can be explored from the southern or northern slopes of the volcano, the two routes offer contrasting views and landscapes: the route up the southern side to Rifugio Sapienza runs to an unnerving and alien landscape dominated by black lava and relieved occasionally by white patch of snow or pink or yellow bursts of flowers in spring, while the northern side via Piano Provenzana wends its way through a lush larch forest. Arriving from Zafferana Etnea, just before Rifugio Sapienza, a sign points to the Crateri Silvestri, craters formed in 1892 and reached by a short walk through a lunar landscape.

There are pretty towns and villages surrounding the mountain, for example Linguaglossa, in the northern flank, whose name derives from the ancient term for “a big tongue of lava”. Perhaps this is a reference to its vulnerable “red-hot” position on the slopes of Etna, down which incandescent lava has flowed on several occasion. Sant’Alfio, a tiny village with a monumental church whit an unusual lava façade incorporating a campanile. Sant’Alfio’s main attraction, however, is a famous chestnut tree, over 2000 years old, known as the Castagno dei 100 Cavalli. Milo , one of the most lively towns perched on Etna with panoramic view of the coast, it has been destroyed by lava flows on three occasions (1950, 1971, 1979). Bronte, famous for its pistachios; Randazzo, very close to the volcano, called the “black town” due to its lava paving, arches and principal monuments in the attractive historical centre.

CATANIA

Sicily’s second city, Catania packs a powerful cultural punch. It’s a town where music, food, art and ancient cult dedicated to St Agatha are strictly mixed. Destroyed time and time again by volcanic eruptions, war, earthquakes and other disaster, Catania always manages to get back on its feet!

Catania_Piazza_Duomo_suntripsicily (1)

Catania’s history is a long chronicle of domination by a succession of people and dynasties that followed on from one another from the VIII century BC to the recent past: Greek, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Swabian, Angevins, Aragonese, Spanish, Austrians, Bourbons. Founded by Greek colonists around 724 BC, Katane flourished during the roman period, as revealed by its many surviving monuments. Tragedy struck in the 17 century when lava flowed into the streets, followed 20 years later by a terrible earthquake that destroyed most of its buildings. But the city rose from the rubble, complete with wide streets, piazzas and monuments. The brainchild behind the new design was the architect Giovanni Battista Vaccarini, who gave the city a baroque aspect!

The town is centred around Piazza Duomo, which is lined with an elegant baroque ensemble. In the middle stands the Fontana dell’Elefante, also called “u Liutru”, the symbol of Catania, designed in 1735 by Vaccarini. The lava elephant sculpture dates from the roman period and bears an Egyptian obelisk. On the south side of the square sites the more delicate Fontana dell’Amenano, named after the river that supplies it on its way past some of the principal monuments of the Roman age (notably the Theatre and the Terme della Rotonda). Behind it is the Piazza Alonzo di Benedetto, where a picturesque and bustling fish market takes place daily. The star of the square is the Duomo, the cathedral dedicated to St Agatha, patron saint of the city; it was erected in the late 11C by the Norman king Roger I and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1963. The façade is considered one of Vaccarini masterpieces. The remains of 3C Roman baths, the Terme Achilliane can be seen to the right of the entrance outside the church. Elegant palazzi surround Via Etnea, Catania’s best shops and boutiques, which runs through Piazza del Duomo, Piazza dell’Università and Piazza Stesicoro (where you can still see the ruins of an enormous Roman amphitheatre) before arriving at the front of Villa Bellini, Catania’s flowers-filled public gardens. When in Catania, don’t miss the Monastery, with its opulent decoration, and Via Crociferi, Catania’s baroque street par excellence. The area around via Crociferi is given over to a series of churches and the Museo Belliniano, dedicated to Catania’s most famous son, the composer Vincenzo Bellini. A short walk will take you to another building dedicated to his memory, the opera house Teatro Massimo Bellini. The opera season runs from around October to June and is well worth a visit if opera is your thing. The acoustic of this beautiful auditorium are among the fines in the world.

catania-246007_960_720

 

ACIREALE

Not far from Catania is Acireale, a pretty baroque town set around the spectacular Piazza Duomo, enclosed by splendid buildings: the Cathedral, dedicated to the Annunciation and Santa Venera, the Basilica dei Santi Pietro e Paolo and the Palazzo Comunale, all graced with elegant wrought-iron balcony. Don’t miss Villa Belvedere with its lovely peaceful garden, complete with a panoramic terrace which provide a magnificent view of Mount Etna and the sea. But the main attraction in Acireale is the Carnevale! It is one of Sicily's most spectacular cultural events and one of the largest and most frequented carnivals in Italy. With its dizzying array of allegorical floats, dancing schools, concerts and confetti parades not to mention lashings of food and wine, the Carnevale di Acireale offers fun for all the family and a fascinating insight into how Sicilians have a good time!

acireale_suntripsicily

Around Acireale you will find some lovely fishing town, like Acitrezza, known for the rocks of the Cyclopes (Faraglioni dei Ciclopi), jagged black lava rising from crystal-clear water. The Odyssey relates these were hurled by Polyphemus against Ulysses. Next to the rocks sits the island Lachea, now a biology research station; Aci Castello is a seaside village on a stretch of coastline dotted with lemon trees. In the main square you can visit the Castle, a Norman fortress built of black lava, which today houses a small museum with a collection of archaeological artefacts.

acicastello-23

 

Experiences

Street food Tour - Catania


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Catania is a melting-pot of culinary traditions and history and famous for the unreachable quality level of its products. It is awash with local vendors selling an array of local delicacies and traditional eats such as arancini (fried and stuffed rice balls), brioches with ice creams and fried "Sfinci" (filled with anchoves or fresh ricotta) to name but a few. The variety of street [...]

Skydiving over Syracuse


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Skydiving over Syracuse is an amazing and unique experience! It'a jump that anyone can try in the most beautiful place in Southern Italy. Making firmly hooked by a special harness to an instructor from 4,300 meters, after a lesson in just 10 minutes. You will experience the thrill they give you 50 seconds of free fall, you'll fly piloting a tandem parachute, making turns and spirals, and then [...]

Private Sailing Experience - Ionian Coast


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Welcome on board! We of SunTripSicily want to share with you our deep love for the sea and the unique beauty of the east coast. Tracing Ulisse's course, an excursion away from daily activities gives the opportunity to make the most of it getting tips of sailing, watching Her Majesty Etna from the sea, enjoying a glass of local wine and eating something special with natural tasty. [...]

Winter Holiday


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Have you ever thought about a winter holiday in Sicily??? If you dream on an unconventional holiday with breathtaking experiences, living real emotions, in a mild Mediterranean climate perfect to go around and enjoy hikes, Sicily in winter is your destination and we of SunTripSicily are ready to host you in one of our stunning holiday rentals! Five good reasons by SunTripSicily to soak up in the [...]

Motor Boat Day Rental


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This summer take the fun of boating and book our 8 places rubber dinghy! That’s a funny and new way to discover Sicily, its exclusive beaches and crystal clear waters, enjoying an unique view on Mount Etna, from a privileged perspective… A mind-boggling picture of Sicily will be impressed upon your mind! Cruise along the coast of eastern Sicily and reach the amazing bay of Giar [...]

Getting to Sicily's Islands: Aeolian Archipelago


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Seven islands in the Tyrrhenian sea in the province in Messina, all of volcanic origin: Alicudi, Filicudi, Panarea, Stromboli, Salina, Lipari and Volcano, the nearest island to Milazzo. It would be very easy to lump the Aeolian Islands in with the multitude European islands which offer sun, sea, sand, and that certain soulless ubiquity which comes from decades of persistent tourism. How [...]

Etna 4x4 excursion. Deep into the wild Nature


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FOR A TRAVELER, THE PLEASURES OF THE JOURNEY ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE DESTINATION. Mount Etna, one of Sicily's prime attractions, is a significant challenge even for a seasoned walker; moreover, it is an active volcano. The north side is the most fascinating and wild: you will enjoy the varied views of the volcano and its unusually contrasting landscapes. It is a must-see for a [...]

Discovering the South-East: Noto, Modica, Ragusa Ibla


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NOTO A UNESCO Heritage site, Noto is not to be missed, even if Baroque architecture is not your cup of tea. More than just a “Baroque” town, it is a subliminal expression of originality, fantasy, obsession and man’s resilience in the face of the overwhelming force of nature. Completely destroyed by the terrible 1693 earthquake, it was rebuilt from scratch on a new site, about 1 [...]

Dining experience


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Would you like to relax after a day out exploring our beautiful island and are you dreaming about having a gourmet fine dining experience in one of our wonderful Villas? We will be pleased to arrange for all our guests a unique and unforgettable dinner, enjoying a more intimate and private setting than a restaurant, with an expert and private chef who will cook for you at your home! We would love [...]

Cooking class with Piero D'Agostino, Michelin starred chef of exquisite Restaurant


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Pietro is the patron chef of one of the best restaurants in Italy located along the coastal area of Taormina. He was one of the first in Sicily to gain the Michelin star, soon acclaimed by gastronomic critics and international opinion-makers and food lovers for his personal way to combine creativity and regional specialties so to give birth to the best reinterpretation of the Sicilian gastronomic [...]

Archaeological trekking: Taormina and Siracusa


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Over 2,500 years at a strategic crossroads of the western world have left Sicily with an unparalleled historical legacy. Nowhere else have Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, French, Germans, Spanish, Italians and even British left such an indellible impression. Whether you are more attracted by Greek temples, Roman villas and aqueducts, Norman cathedrals or Baroque chur [...]

Villa del Filosofo - APT 5pax (District Taormina - Catania - Etna)

Beds: 5 - Rooms: 2 - Bathrooms: 1

Just a short drive from Giardini and some glorious sandy and pebble beaches, Villa del Filosofo has recently been restored and refurbished to exacting standards. The interiors feature a blend of local, elegant and traditional pieces, many of which are originals from the owners’ Sicilian family. The house is surrounded by a luxuriant garden, fruit trees and plenty of outside living areas. It is perfect for large groups requiring flexibility, a certain amount of individual privacy and great communal areas where everyone can come together. 

Villa del Filosofo is spread between two Apartments at the ground floor of a charming Sicilian style Villa on the slopes of Mount Etna. The two Apartments can be reserved individually (by single families) or, instead,  jointly (by larger groups), making it a superb choice for reunions of family and friends, for a maximum of 11 guests

The entrances overlook an intimate courtyard where a majestic ficus australis gently encloses the garden and the pathio: adorable place where spending your dinners in relax.

The first Apartment comfortably fits 4-5 persons. The bright living room with sofa leads to the equipped country kitchen. Adjacent, two large bedrooms: a double with king-size bed and one with three single beds. The en-suite shower room completes the accommodation in the Apartment.

The second Apartment accommodates up to 5-6 persons. The entrance, overlooking the panoramic pathio, leads to the equipped kitchen, handy for preparing tea and coffee or breakfast and a central living area. From here one may access to the two bedrooms, each one fitting 2-3 person, with two en-suite bathrooms.

Furnishings throughout are both elegant and genuine, and typically Sicilian. You will experience the setting of Sicilian Renaissaince.

The large gardens are completely surrounded by a shady forest and feature a dining area, several shady areas for relaxing, lush lawns, an orchard with orange and lemon trees, and a wide variety of plants, including a superb ancient bamboo-orchard. The private swimming pool, situated just on a terracing, has a nice pathio with barbecue and outdoor kitchen, a changing room and shower room. The shady pergola area just beside the pool provides a welcome respite when the sun is at its zenith.

Mature shady grounds wrap around the property, creating a tranquil cocoon in which guests may truly relax and unwind.

Prices include all sales taxes, linen, bath towels, pool and/or beach towels, a comprehensive written guide to the villa and the local area, midweek cleaning and linen change for long stay (after one week), our award-winning service and specialist knowledge pre and post-booking and 24/7 local support while you’re on holiday.

Cleanings and cooking service during the stay, on request.

Standard Rate from 800Euros* per week. The rate may vary according to season, number of guests and lenght of stay. 

Please Send an Email Enquiry from our form just below for direct booking and more information...

 

Map

Amenities

Swimming Pool

SunTripSicily local support 24/7

Pool-Beach towels

Parking Area

Outdoor shower

Moka Pot - Coffee maker

Late Check-in

Kettle

Internet WiFi

In-Villa Car Hire Delivery

Hairdryer

Garden

Drinkable water

Daily cleaning - on request

Bed Sheets

Bath towels

Barbecue area

Airport transfers - on request

TV

Washing Machine

Week Linen change - on request

Make an Enquiry Villa del Filosofo - APT 5pax












What our guests say about us:

Giovanni and his team are perfect host´s, they were very obliging, kind and friendly. If we had a problem with the facility we wrote a message and got a very quick answer with an solution. We felt very comfortable. The house and the area was very big and well-groomed. The flat was very clean and we had everything we needed. Thank you for our nice stay!

Area: District Taormina - Catania - Etna

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TAORMINA

Idyllically perched on a rocky promontory high above the sea, Taormina has been the most popular tourist destination in Sicily for a couple of hundred of years, ever since it became an integral part of the Grand Tour. Beautifully restored mediaeval buildings, breathtaking views around every corner and a giddy network of winding streets strewn with shops, bars and restaurants make for a perfect holiday spot.

Taormina’s past is Sicily’s history in a microcosm: Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, the French and the Spanish all came, saw, conquered and left.

Tauromenium, built on Monte Tauro, was founded by Andromacus at the behest of Dionysius the Tyrant of Syracuse in 392BC. The first Punic War saw Taormina falling to the Romans in 212BC and the town became a favorite holiday spot for Patricians and Senators, thus starting Taormina’s long history as a tourist resort.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Byzantines came only to be ousted by the Arabs in 962. They changed the name to Almoezia and set about introducing new agricultural practices (irrigation and citrus fruit farming) and other more cerebral pursuits such as philosophy, medicine and mathematics. Taormina continued to prosper both culturally and economically with the arrival of the Normans in 1079, who, under King Roger de Hautville, threw the Arabs out of Sicily.

stairs-taormina-suntripsicily

After a brief period of Swabian rule, under Frederick II, Charles of Anjou was pronounced King of Sicily by the Pope. The people of Taormina refused to recognize this interloper as their king and, along with a great many other Sicilian towns, joined in the revolt against French rule during the Sicilian Vespers of 1282.

A hundred years of uncertainty followed before the Spanish took over affairs. Evidently impressed with Taormina, they chose Palazzo Corvaja as the seat of the Sicilian Parliament.
The rest, as they say, is storia.

As soon as you arrive in Taormina, you will feel the magical, mythical atmosphere spread all around which has enchanted visitors from all over the world for years and years.

Goethe wrote: “Without Sicily, Italy creates no image in the soul: here is the key to everything”.

teatro-greco-taormina-suntripsicily

In Taormina we suggest to visit the Greek Theatre the second-largest in Sicily after the one in Siracusa. Though originally built in the Hellenistic period, it was completely reconstructed by the Romans and used for gladiatorial shows. The theater is situated at the very top of a hill, leveled for the purpose, using the natural incline of the valley for the "cavea": the auditorium seating. The majestic panorama, combined with a spectacular view of Etna and the Calabrian mountains, renders this hollowed out hill a natural stage, as well as a stage for natural beauty. Then, the center of Taormina which radiates from the main thoroughfare, Corso Umberto I. Stroll along it beginning at Porta Messina as it gently climbs up to Porta Catania. Don’t forget the Fountain in Piazza Duomo, a Barocco style fountain, built in 1635, in Taormina marble; Palazzo Corvaja, which is one of Taormina’s historical landmarks. Its architecture is a mixture of styles (from Arabian to Norman to Gothic) due to the different eras during which it was built and extended. The Public Gardens, where there is a thick vegetation and a typically Mediterranean array of hedges and flower-beds with cobbled paths which lengthwise connect the almost three hectares of park. In the centre and on the north-east end of the gardens, there are some characteristic pagoda-style towers with arabesque designs, made of bricks and edged with lavic pumice-stone.

“If one has never seen oneself completely surrounded by the sea, one has no idea of the world and one’s own relationship with the world. As an artist drawing landscapes, that great simple line has given me completely new ideas.”  (Goethe)

So, let’s enjoy Sicily beautiful coastline! A cable car links Taormina with Mazzarò on the coast. The little bay of Mazzarò is enclosed on the south side by Capo Sant’Andrea which is riddled with caves and grottoes, including the Blue Grotto. Beyond the headland is the delightful bay that sweeps round to Isola Bella, linked to main shore by a narrow strip of land. Very closed to Taormina is Giardini Naxos, the beach on which the first Greek colonists probably landed 2700 years ago, and which now accommodates thousands of tourists due to its charming position, the particularly mild climate, the long beach and the splendid scenery. Concerning the Alcantara Gorge, it is a part of a vast nature area formed by canyons of ancient lava flows traversed by the Alcantara river and dotted with amazing waterfalls and ponds!

ETNA

Mongibello, as the Etna is also known, is the highest summit in Sicily. Cloaked in snow during winter, it is one of Europe’s best known active volcanoes. Its height, continuously modified by eruptions, is around 3,350m. With its dramatic volcanic displays, Etna is one of the island’s most interesting sites and the area also has a fascinating, artistic, cultural and culinary heritage, which includes Etna wine, pistachio nuts, honey, fragrant granite and warm brioche. Etna can be explored from the southern or northern slopes of the volcano, the two routes offer contrasting views and landscapes: the route up the southern side to Rifugio Sapienza runs to an unnerving and alien landscape dominated by black lava and relieved occasionally by white patch of snow or pink or yellow bursts of flowers in spring, while the northern side via Piano Provenzana wends its way through a lush larch forest. Arriving from Zafferana Etnea, just before Rifugio Sapienza, a sign points to the Crateri Silvestri, craters formed in 1892 and reached by a short walk through a lunar landscape.

There are pretty towns and villages surrounding the mountain, for example Linguaglossa, in the northern flank, whose name derives from the ancient term for “a big tongue of lava”. Perhaps this is a reference to its vulnerable “red-hot” position on the slopes of Etna, down which incandescent lava has flowed on several occasion. Sant’Alfio, a tiny village with a monumental church whit an unusual lava façade incorporating a campanile. Sant’Alfio’s main attraction, however, is a famous chestnut tree, over 2000 years old, known as the Castagno dei 100 Cavalli. Milo , one of the most lively towns perched on Etna with panoramic view of the coast, it has been destroyed by lava flows on three occasions (1950, 1971, 1979). Bronte, famous for its pistachios; Randazzo, very close to the volcano, called the “black town” due to its lava paving, arches and principal monuments in the attractive historical centre.

CATANIA

Sicily’s second city, Catania packs a powerful cultural punch. It’s a town where music, food, art and ancient cult dedicated to St Agatha are strictly mixed. Destroyed time and time again by volcanic eruptions, war, earthquakes and other disaster, Catania always manages to get back on its feet!

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Catania’s history is a long chronicle of domination by a succession of people and dynasties that followed on from one another from the VIII century BC to the recent past: Greek, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Swabian, Angevins, Aragonese, Spanish, Austrians, Bourbons. Founded by Greek colonists around 724 BC, Katane flourished during the roman period, as revealed by its many surviving monuments. Tragedy struck in the 17 century when lava flowed into the streets, followed 20 years later by a terrible earthquake that destroyed most of its buildings. But the city rose from the rubble, complete with wide streets, piazzas and monuments. The brainchild behind the new design was the architect Giovanni Battista Vaccarini, who gave the city a baroque aspect!

The town is centred around Piazza Duomo, which is lined with an elegant baroque ensemble. In the middle stands the Fontana dell’Elefante, also called “u Liutru”, the symbol of Catania, designed in 1735 by Vaccarini. The lava elephant sculpture dates from the roman period and bears an Egyptian obelisk. On the south side of the square sites the more delicate Fontana dell’Amenano, named after the river that supplies it on its way past some of the principal monuments of the Roman age (notably the Theatre and the Terme della Rotonda). Behind it is the Piazza Alonzo di Benedetto, where a picturesque and bustling fish market takes place daily. The star of the square is the Duomo, the cathedral dedicated to St Agatha, patron saint of the city; it was erected in the late 11C by the Norman king Roger I and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1963. The façade is considered one of Vaccarini masterpieces. The remains of 3C Roman baths, the Terme Achilliane can be seen to the right of the entrance outside the church. Elegant palazzi surround Via Etnea, Catania’s best shops and boutiques, which runs through Piazza del Duomo, Piazza dell’Università and Piazza Stesicoro (where you can still see the ruins of an enormous Roman amphitheatre) before arriving at the front of Villa Bellini, Catania’s flowers-filled public gardens. When in Catania, don’t miss the Monastery, with its opulent decoration, and Via Crociferi, Catania’s baroque street par excellence. The area around via Crociferi is given over to a series of churches and the Museo Belliniano, dedicated to Catania’s most famous son, the composer Vincenzo Bellini. A short walk will take you to another building dedicated to his memory, the opera house Teatro Massimo Bellini. The opera season runs from around October to June and is well worth a visit if opera is your thing. The acoustic of this beautiful auditorium are among the fines in the world.

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ACIREALE

Not far from Catania is Acireale, a pretty baroque town set around the spectacular Piazza Duomo, enclosed by splendid buildings: the Cathedral, dedicated to the Annunciation and Santa Venera, the Basilica dei Santi Pietro e Paolo and the Palazzo Comunale, all graced with elegant wrought-iron balcony. Don’t miss Villa Belvedere with its lovely peaceful garden, complete with a panoramic terrace which provide a magnificent view of Mount Etna and the sea. But the main attraction in Acireale is the Carnevale! It is one of Sicily's most spectacular cultural events and one of the largest and most frequented carnivals in Italy. With its dizzying array of allegorical floats, dancing schools, concerts and confetti parades not to mention lashings of food and wine, the Carnevale di Acireale offers fun for all the family and a fascinating insight into how Sicilians have a good time!

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Around Acireale you will find some lovely fishing town, like Acitrezza, known for the rocks of the Cyclopes (Faraglioni dei Ciclopi), jagged black lava rising from crystal-clear water. The Odyssey relates these were hurled by Polyphemus against Ulysses. Next to the rocks sits the island Lachea, now a biology research station; Aci Castello is a seaside village on a stretch of coastline dotted with lemon trees. In the main square you can visit the Castle, a Norman fortress built of black lava, which today houses a small museum with a collection of archaeological artefacts.

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Experiences

Street food Tour - Catania


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Catania is a melting-pot of culinary traditions and history and famous for the unreachable quality level of its products. It is awash with local vendors selling an array of local delicacies and traditional eats such as arancini (fried and stuffed rice balls), brioches with ice creams and fried "Sfinci" (filled with anchoves or fresh ricotta) to name but a few. The variety of street [...]

Skydiving over Syracuse


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Skydiving over Syracuse is an amazing and unique experience! It'a jump that anyone can try in the most beautiful place in Southern Italy. Making firmly hooked by a special harness to an instructor from 4,300 meters, after a lesson in just 10 minutes. You will experience the thrill they give you 50 seconds of free fall, you'll fly piloting a tandem parachute, making turns and spirals, and then [...]

Private Sailing Experience - Ionian Coast


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Welcome on board! We of SunTripSicily want to share with you our deep love for the sea and the unique beauty of the east coast. Tracing Ulisse's course, an excursion away from daily activities gives the opportunity to make the most of it getting tips of sailing, watching Her Majesty Etna from the sea, enjoying a glass of local wine and eating something special with natural tasty. [...]

Winter Holiday


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Have you ever thought about a winter holiday in Sicily??? If you dream on an unconventional holiday with breathtaking experiences, living real emotions, in a mild Mediterranean climate perfect to go around and enjoy hikes, Sicily in winter is your destination and we of SunTripSicily are ready to host you in one of our stunning holiday rentals! Five good reasons by SunTripSicily to soak up in the [...]

Motor Boat Day Rental


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This summer take the fun of boating and book our 8 places rubber dinghy! That’s a funny and new way to discover Sicily, its exclusive beaches and crystal clear waters, enjoying an unique view on Mount Etna, from a privileged perspective… A mind-boggling picture of Sicily will be impressed upon your mind! Cruise along the coast of eastern Sicily and reach the amazing bay of Giar [...]

Getting to Sicily's Islands: Aeolian Archipelago


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Seven islands in the Tyrrhenian sea in the province in Messina, all of volcanic origin: Alicudi, Filicudi, Panarea, Stromboli, Salina, Lipari and Volcano, the nearest island to Milazzo. It would be very easy to lump the Aeolian Islands in with the multitude European islands which offer sun, sea, sand, and that certain soulless ubiquity which comes from decades of persistent tourism. How [...]

Etna 4x4 excursion. Deep into the wild Nature


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FOR A TRAVELER, THE PLEASURES OF THE JOURNEY ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE DESTINATION. Mount Etna, one of Sicily's prime attractions, is a significant challenge even for a seasoned walker; moreover, it is an active volcano. The north side is the most fascinating and wild: you will enjoy the varied views of the volcano and its unusually contrasting landscapes. It is a must-see for a [...]

Discovering the South-East: Noto, Modica, Ragusa Ibla


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NOTO A UNESCO Heritage site, Noto is not to be missed, even if Baroque architecture is not your cup of tea. More than just a “Baroque” town, it is a subliminal expression of originality, fantasy, obsession and man’s resilience in the face of the overwhelming force of nature. Completely destroyed by the terrible 1693 earthquake, it was rebuilt from scratch on a new site, about 1 [...]

Dining experience


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Would you like to relax after a day out exploring our beautiful island and are you dreaming about having a gourmet fine dining experience in one of our wonderful Villas? We will be pleased to arrange for all our guests a unique and unforgettable dinner, enjoying a more intimate and private setting than a restaurant, with an expert and private chef who will cook for you at your home! We would love [...]

Cooking class with Piero D'Agostino, Michelin starred chef of exquisite Restaurant


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Pietro is the patron chef of one of the best restaurants in Italy located along the coastal area of Taormina. He was one of the first in Sicily to gain the Michelin star, soon acclaimed by gastronomic critics and international opinion-makers and food lovers for his personal way to combine creativity and regional specialties so to give birth to the best reinterpretation of the Sicilian gastronomic [...]

Archaeological trekking: Taormina and Siracusa


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Over 2,500 years at a strategic crossroads of the western world have left Sicily with an unparalleled historical legacy. Nowhere else have Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, French, Germans, Spanish, Italians and even British left such an indellible impression. Whether you are more attracted by Greek temples, Roman villas and aqueducts, Norman cathedrals or Baroque chur [...]

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