Discovering the Etna and Nebrodi mountains between Landscapes and Wines – Road.Travel

Discovering the Etna and Nebrodi mountains between Landscapes and Wines

Road Trip Route. Naturalistic WHL UNESCO site, Lava landscapes, Wine tasting, Adventure between mountains and sea.

Welcome in Sicily, my traveler! My name is Lucia Angelico, and I create this road trip for you, starting from Catania and going around the cities and the villages, the slopes of Mount Etna and Nebrodi Mountains! We will stop in some of the beauty villages on the sea, such as Acicastello and Acireale and then we will go to Randazzo, a medieval city on the norther slopes of the Etna vulcano! We will discover the landscape between Mount Etna and the Nebrodi mountains where we will make a great excursion with a quad between the lava slopes and the Alcantara river. Finally, we will return to Catania, where I want you to discover some other nice places! So, please, follow me in this adventure! *Credits: This tour was made by Lucia Angelico, as a multimedia tourist and storytelling project for the "Laboratory of formal technical writing (storytelling and gamification)", under the coordination of Prof. Elisa Bonacini, within the ITS 2-years COURSE "Higher Technician for the management of tourist accommodation facilities and cultural activities", 2019-2021, founded by the ITS Archimede Foundation at the CUMO Eastern Mediterranean University Consortium, in Noto (Syracuse).*

💥 Try for Free, Adventures, Gastronomy, Relaxing Leisure. From: Catania

ITS Fondazione Archimede Turism&Culture. Travel Expert.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: From Catania to Randazzo

Welcome to Catania airport! Firstly, take the car you rented and drive for thirty minutes to reach S. Giovanni Li Cuti, only twenty minutes away but you may find traffic, where you can admire the wonderful black beach produced by the eruptions of the Etna volcano. Relax and think about the meaning of this tour between sea rivers and mountains just a few kilometers away from each other in an unrepeatable naturalistic context. Another added value is the mild climate throughout the year. Also good wine and good food - as you will begin to taste very soon in the Quaranta pastry shop, ten minutes from the black beach. You can take an aperitif with finger food and raw or fried fish by mediterranean sea and Sicilian recipe, you can finish with Sicilian desserts and wines, all sitting looking at the cliff of Catania. Then, take your car taking the A18 motor way towards Randazzo. Before arriving and going to the hotel, firstly enjoy a walk in the villages by sea or mountain you will meet on your way. I recommend to have a couple of stops in Aci Castello e Acireale. If you want to be at the hotel for dinner you should leave in the evening, driving toward Parco Statella in Randazzo. Enjoy yourself. In the meantime, if you want to learn something about incredible myths coming from the Greek phase of Catania, here is a beautiful audiotour, which can tell you also the myth of the Cyclops and Ulysses.

Catania Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) (Aeroporto di Catania Fontanarossa)

Welcome in Catania airport! I will be your guide specialist to make the most of your trip. I advise you to rent a not so big car, to allow you juggling the traffic of Catania. Let's start and head to the "black city", which aspect has been created from the lava of the Etna volcano!

Catania

Welcome to the black city of [Catania](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catania)! A place where you can find traces from all the ancient phases and domination, from the Greeks to the Romans, from the Normans to the Spanish domination! If you want to know something about the most important monuments of the city, her is a suggested izi.TRAVEL audiotour fo the city!

Piazza Duomo

And here we are in the wonderful baroque [Piazza Duomo](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piazza_del_Duomo,_Catania), about the most important point of interest in the historic centre, which has been declared World Heritage UNESCO site for its unique baroque style, with all the monuments built after the [1693 earthquake](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1693_Sicily_earthquake)! I invite you to follow a second izi.TRAVEL audiotour, that could tell you all the stories about the myths of the city!

Spiaggetta nera di San Giovanni Li Cuti

And here we are, on the Beach where the eruption of the [Etna Volcano](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Etna), in the last millennia, created this coastline! Here you can swim as the people of Catania do all year round, furthermore you can take a cocktail in one of the many bars nearby.

Pasticceria Quaranta

Staying in Catania, as a real catanese citizen, means enjoying life! And Quaranta is the right place for this! In this restaurant bar you can taste the fish, some very typical fried food, such as the arancini, or desserts and wines of the Catania tradition! Hera you can enjoy a fantastic view on the little harbor of Ognina, which was an ancient fishing village. Now relax and enjoy.

Aci Castello

The town of [Aci Castello](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aci_Castello) developed round the Castle that was built in lava stone by the Normans 1076, just on a rocky outcrop jutting out into the sea. Originally the Castle was connected to the mainland by a draws bridge; now it is the place of the Civic Museum which hosts mineralogy, paleontology and archeology collections.

Castello di Aci

The Castle was important to the development of its region during the middle ages. It was besieged more than once, and was briefly controlled by the Spanish.

Acireale

A very beautiful city, on the east slopes of Mount Etna is [Acireale](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acireale), which name was given by Philip IV, king of Spain and Sicily. After the [1693 earthquake](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1693_Sicily_earthquake), which destroyed a great part of the cities and villages in south-east Sicily, the town rebuilt according to the urbanist design of the Duke of Camastra, who also redesigned Catania.

Randazzo

You are on the nord face of Etna Mount, almost on the watershed between the rivers [Alcantara](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcantara_(river)) and [Simeto](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simeto). The town of [Randazzo](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randazzo) was founded in Byzantine times in a territory already settled by the [Sicels](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicels). It was successively populated by Greek, Roman and Lombard immigrants, the last ones coming from northern Italy in medieval times. This is the reason why people living here until the 16th century spoke three distinct dialects.

Agriturismo Parco Statella

In a beautiful park you will find this agritourism, where you can eat a very traditional local cooking! You can also decide to take a room here, but I suggest to move, after dinner, to Quota mille and take you room there!

Day 2: Between the Etna volcano and the Nebrodi Mountains

In this second day, starting from your Etna Quota Mille hotel, you will discover the medieval town of Randazzo, taste a great Etna wine and go to the near town of Cesarò, which is set at the doors of the Nebrodi Mountains!

Basilica Di Santa Maria Assunta

The very first stop is the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, a wonderful medieval church built in the early 13th century and rebuilt several times. Look at its severe, but graced by hanging arches; the facade and the bell tower were reconstructed during the 19th century, while to the left, the portal is probably dated to the 16th century. On the right, you can admire the splendid 15th century Gothic-catalan portal, with ogival arches, bears a little marble Madonna of the Pisa school in the lunette. Inside the church you can find a nave and two aisles, divided by lavastone columns dating from the original building, while the transept and cupola are 18th century additions. Paintings are by various artist, during the centuries. Randazzo was saved from the volcano eruption by the intercession of the Virgin Mary in the 16th century, and was not destroyed by other calamities. This is the reason why you can have a great view of the town at the medieval and late medieval times. Behind the hight altar, decorated with variegated and inlaid marble, is a 13th Madonna Enthroned and Child, in a Byzantine style. Very precious is the Treasury of the church, which contains valuable objects of gold, silver and enamel. And now, walk down, going to Archeological Museum Vagliasindi.

Museo civico archeologico Paolo Vagliasindi

"Paolo Vagliasindi" Archeological Museum housed in the fortification of the Prison of the medieval Castle, and collects the artifacts found in the Saint Anastasia district in Randazzo by the archeologist Paolo Vagliasindi. The collection is one of the most important in Sicily, housing important pieces coming from the very first contact between the local people and the colonists, and precious vases coming from the most important Corinthian and Attic production.

Cantine Cottanera

You can not go around Mount Etna without tasting its incredible wines! So, my suggestion is to have a tasting tour with a lunch, in this piece of Paradise, on the slope of the volcano! You will visit the vineyards, the cellar and the barrique cellar and their winemaker will also be there while you taste wines from different district! Three hours discovering the history of the family and this vineyard, and tasting local foods together with their prized wines!

Lago Biviere

After your fantastic lunch, take your time driving between the slopes of Mount Etna and the Nebrodi Mountains: you will cross incredible panoramas, and reach an incredible naturalistic places, in the hearth of the Nebrodi park: the Lake Biviere!

Cesarò

Returning from the Lake, I suggest a little stop and walking tour in Cesarò, 1.150 meters on the sea, at the very beginning of the Nebrodi Mountains. In the upper part of the town there are the few remains of the Castle of the Colonna family, which became its overlords in 1334. The Chiesa Madre clearly shows the alterations it underwent in the baroque age. The Hight altitude make it possible to enjoy splendid views over the surrounding countryside and towards Etna, especially going up to the Lord of the Mountain sculpure. Here you can also taste very good pistachio pastries and arancini or ricotta sweets.

Day 3: Discovering a great landscape with a quad tour!

You need to start early your morning, today! A great adventure will wait for you! In the afternoon, on the way home, I suggest to stop in the little village of Castiglione di Sicilia and the...go bed!

Alcantara and Etna quad tour

If you want, I suggest you an incredible adventure with this quad tour! You can have all the informations from [this website](https://www.tiowo.com/sicily-quad-bike-adventure-en): starting from the Hotel, after having a great breakfast, you need to go at the Doors od the Alcantara river for 9 or 10 o'clock and start driving your quad through the river and the Etna landscapes! About 5 hours of a great adventure in the nature!

Castiglione di Sicilia

After your incredible journey on a quad, I suggest a little stop in this splendid village! Here we are in Castiglione di Sicilia at 621meters on the sea, a little town dominating the Valley of the River Alcantara. Castiglione was a Greek colony, founded in 496 BC by exiles from the ancient city of Naxos, on the coast, and it was destroyed by Dionysius the Elder, the tyrant of Syracuse. Castiglione is a little jewel! It was an Arab stronghold, a royal town under the Normans, and it preserves its medieval aspect, dominated by the castle of which some ruins still remain. Now enjoy a little stop here, in its surrounding nature. Then, you will be ready to drive to Catania, where an incredible beautiful Hotel is waiting for you!

Linguaglossa

Welcome to tongue-tongue: this is the real meaning of Linguaglossa, a beautiful village on the nort-eastern slopes of the volcano,, founded on a lava stream in 1566. Linguaglocca came in fact from the Latin word "lingua" and the Greek word "γλῶσσα" (glôssa) which both mean 'tongue'. Here is a very famous ski resort and here there are many vineries and wine cellars, producing wonderful Etna wines.

Vinetna

Do you want to leave this lava slopes without having another glass of local wine??? No! I'm sure, you want to taste some other wines! So, I suggest a little stop here, in the beautiful Linguaglossa village, to take your time in front of a glass of Etna wine!

Day 4: The last day, from the Scogliera blue sea to the underground river of Catania

Here we are, my traveler, the last day of the tour! I suggest you to have a great swim in the Scogliera just in front of your Hotel Baia Verde and to have a relaxing moment in their beauty center. Then, after your last lunch here (and I suggest a fish restaurant!) a little walk to the center of Catania, to discover its underground river, the Amenano, and the Ursino Castle and the rock upon which was built, directly on the sea, and definitively separated by the sea, thanks to a terrible lava eruption in 1669. Here will end our road trip!

La Scogliera

I suggest to get up early and to have a little swim in the blue sea just down the hotel and, after, a relaxing massage in the beauty center inside the hotel, before going away.

Le Tre Bocche

After a morning dedicated to wellness, here you will eat excellent fish, and after I suggest to drive towards the center of the Catania, leave your car and finally have a nice walk along via Etnea, go shopping before going to the Castello Ursino Museum.

Fontana dell'Amenano

Again, in this tour we saw rivers, lakes, sea and the relations that water, declined in all these ways, has with the landscape: here is one of the most important fountain, in the wonderful Baroque framework of Piazza Duomo, where the Amenano river flows, the underground river of Catania, which is able to appear in some points in the city: underground in the Achillenian Baths under the Cathedral, in the orchestra space in the Roma Theatre, in some lava galleries underground and here!

Castello Ursino

The last visit I suggest for you is Castello Ursino, a powerful building erected between 1239 and 1250 by the Swabian Emperor Federick II. The Castle has the typical structure of the fortified buildings of the Swabian period, with a square ground - plan distributed around a central court and circular turrets. The castle houses the Museo Civico, which was created in 1934 by combining the collection of the Benedectine monks with that of the Prince of Biscari, the great collector and archaeologist at the end of th1 18th century. The Museum contains works of extraordinary value: from the archaeological collection to the paintings. If you want, you can discover the incredible storie of this place and its collection through a great audioguide on izi.TRAVEL! Finally, let's go back to take the car and let's go to the airport! I hope you are fine and I give you goodbye to another tour in Sicily