10 April 2016
Taormina, Italy: Bubbling in the Hills

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Taormina is a charming old town, perched in the hills, about midway between Messina and Catania on the island of Sicily.

I say “hills” advisedly. Nearby is one very large and very active hill.

When we sailed south from Sorrento through the Tyrrhenian Sea we entered into the Strait of Messina. On our left was the big toe at the bottom of the mainland of Italy. To our right was the large island of Sicily, the football being kicked by Italy’s boot.

This is, in maritime and geological circles, an interesting place. The narrow strait has some treacherous currents (just ask Homer, who wrote about Odysseus’ passage between Scylla and Charybdis here.)

And then there is the bubbling deep down below. In this region, the Eurasian plate is moving down toward the African plate.

Which brings us to that hill: Looming at the end of town is Mount Etna: the tallest active volcano in Europe, nearly constantly bubbling over like a bowl of Arrabiata sauce left on the burner.

ETNA 10Apr2016 EDIT BLOG-4247

ETNA 10Apr2016 EDIT BLOG-4246

The view of Mount Etna from our ship at anchor in the Bay of Naxos today

Etna stands about 3,329 meters or 10,922 feet tall, although every time it erupts it grows or shrinks. I’ve climbed to near the peak, but I left my tape measure behind.

Etna is about two-and-a-half times the height of the next tallest Italian volcano, Mount Vesuvius between Naples and Sorrento.

BLOG Messina Etna 10Nov2014-9069

Taormina is the jewel of the region, a lovely little town with a spectacular Greek Theater and an even-more spectacular view of Mount Etna.



We are due to return to Taormina on May 1 and I will have additional photos and commentary in the blog entry for that day.

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.


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