Italy and Portugal 2012 travel blog

Mt. Etna

me in front of the volcano

our bus driver Antonio and guide, Tommaso

mountain fox

lunch at the winery

marinated sun dried tomatoes


Today we said goodbye to Cefalu and headed to Taromina, driving through the heart of the island, past rolling green fields of wheat, dotted with abandoned stone houses and farms of citrus and olives. It looks more like Ireland than Italy. Everything is so green.

On the way to Taormina we stopped at Mt. Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in Europe. They call it a 'friendly volcano' because its eruptions are effusive rather than explosive, meaning the lava flows very slowly, so even though property can be destroyed, people rarely die from the eruptions because you can easily get away in time. Who would have thought you would find a snow covered volcano in the middle of Sicily? At the visitors center where we stopped, there were quite a few wild foxes, which were almost tame, begging for handouts.

After visiting Etna, we stopped at a winery on the lower slopes for lunch and wine tasting. They prepared an amazing meal and the wine was very good. When the owners found out I worked for Rick Steves, they insisted on giving me 2 bottles of their best wine. Getting them back home will be a challenge.

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