I got a little behind on my Med Cruise blog posts, but let me continue!
I was excited to be back in Sicily and especially Taormina. Art and I had spent a week in Sicily a few years ago and really liked it. Of course on a cruise stop you have to choose just a fraction of the things available on the island. We chose to go to Mt. Etna, an active volcano, and then to Taormina. We could have spent the entire day at either place. First we drove up the volcano to the crater at Mt. Etna. The drive itself is pretty, going past quaint villages and chestnut trees. From the slopes of the craters are beautiful panoramic views of the Gulf of Catania. We walked up around a smaller crater while others in our group hiked up to some higher ones. The last time we were at Mt. Etna, was right before the eruption in 2003 which destroyed the visitor center. On that trip the ground was hot under foot. Mt. Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe.
After Mt. Etna, we drove back to Taormina, one of the prettiest medieval towns I have been to. It is perched high on a hill with beautiful views in all directions. We had a guided walking tour through the narrow streets with 15th century buildings. The last stop was at the Greek theater dating back to the 3rd century BC. It was rebuilt by the Romans in the 2nd century AD and it still used for concerts. The view form the highpoint of the theater is considered one of the most breathtaking in all of Italy.