There are different ways to discover the gorgeous sea of our coast. The first one could be to hire a dinghy in one of the several small ports of the seaside village near by.Another possibility could be to walk along the panoramic paths of the Natural Reserve of “La Timpa” or let the fishers bring you into the protected marine area “Isola dei Ciclopi” or relax in a charming private club appointed with deckchairs, sun umbrellas, bar and restaurant service , only 3 km far from the hotel (a small daily extra will be charged).
The town of Catania is very famous because of its proximity to the tallest active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna, which has always played a very important role in town’s history. The town is famous for the cult of its patron saint, Sant’Agata, whose day is at the beginning of February. The town is the birthplace of important musicians and writers, such as Vincenzo Bellini and Giovanni Verga. The cuisine is strongly linked to local produces and it is famous for its kind of pizza called “scacciata”. The closeness to the sea has affected the creation of an important culinary tradition, basicly based on fish, with its different forms and varieties. The nightlife scene is vibrant and it has grown in the respect to local tradition. The tourists can enjoy a different aspect of Catania, an aspect ignored by the official tour operators. It is the Catania of flavours, of colours and of a pure nature. It is an important gastronomic tradition inherited for centuries. Catania and its surrounding villages are a great discovery for those who want to look for genuine flavours and unique recipes: the area offers many exciting produces: the fish from the Riviera, Etna wines, Bronte’s pistachios, red oranges, the prickly pears from San Cono, the grapes from Mazzarone, the almond sweets from Belpasso, the bread from Ramacca, the “granite” from Acireale, the hazelnuts from Sant’Alfio, the sausages from Linguaglossa and Grammichele, are only some of the examples of a rich culinary tradition reflected by the huge number of restaurants in and around Catania.
This wonderful town lies on a rocky hill 200 metres above the sea level. Taormina is spectacularly situated, overlooking the sea and opposite Mount Etna.
It has been a tourist destination since 1700, but only in the late 19th century, it has become a mass tourism destination. Many foreigners have chosen Taormina to build a house, especially British and Germans, and many important personalities have visited Taormina, from the Emperor William II to King Edward VII, to many important dynasties (the Rotschilds and the Krupps). The mild climate, the beautiful landscape and the tranquillity have made Taormina famous all over the world. The town centre, reserved to pedestrians, is built around Corso Umberto I, the main artery of the village from where it is possible to reach any of the points of major interest.
The name Etna originates from the ancient Greek Aetna. During the Middle Ages the Volcano gained another name: Mongibello, which derives from the Italian “monte” (mountain), and the Arabic “djebel” which has the same meaning. Besides being an active volcano, it is also a high peak at the centre of the Mediterranean sea, much higher than all the other Sicilian peaks, and it is the second largest active volcano in Europe. The climate is therefore different at its varying altitudes and exposures; nevertheless, it is homogenously Mediterranean, even at the highest summit, where it scarcely rains during the summer period. The eastern side, directly affected by the low pressure from the Jonio sea, is much more humid. The eruptions are characterised by explosions from the craters or volcanic dents which regularly open up close to the summit and are mainly effusive and spectacular. The magma usually affects only the highest parts of the volcano. In the last 5 years the volcanic activity has been relentless and only at the summit. For its important naturalistic, geological and environmental meaning, Mount Etna is a Natural Park. In Greek mythology, Etna was considered as God Volcano’s kitchen and home to the Cyclops, enormous giants with only one eye (Ulysses had something to do with them).