Alacantara Gorge

Our alarm was set for 6.30 to enable us to arrive for breakfast at 7.30 (as the doors opened). As we arrived we were surprised to find that the room was quickly filling up with a large number of Americans. We couldn’t help but overhear their loud conversations; they were joining a trip to Etna. We wondered if they were going to be travelling on the same trip as us.

Breakfast was a bit of a rush; we had a taxi booked at 7.55 to take us to Taormina bus station, the joining point for our trip to Etna.

The coach arrived on time and we were surprised that it was a double decker. We found a good seat on the top deck. The tour guide pointed out interesting places and features as we traveled, also sharing the history of the area. As we entered the Alcantara Gorge (unlike our previous trip to the gorge) she explained all the things that we could do in our one hour visit to the gorge.

Alacantara Gorge

We chose not to go down to the gorge, instead we set off on a walk to enjoy the parkland and viewpoints looking down on the gorge from above.


Next we continued on our journey to Etna where we had (a rather rushed) lunch before enjoying the Etna experience. Mr C decided to go further up the volcano, via cable cars and jeeps so that he could experience a walk around one of the live craters. I chose to stay lower down the mountain and enjoy a walk in the Silvestri Crater area,  which are extinct but fascinating to see.

Sylvestri Crater

I walked to the top of the crater where I encountered strong winds followed by mist and rain. It was all I could do to stay on my feet. As I walked down off the crater the rain had stopped and the mist had lifted.


I considered walking another nearby route to see the effects of  lava flow. Looking up at the walkway the mist came down and completely obliterated the area, a noticed a lone figure at the top of the hill disappearing into the fog. I decided that with a deadline to meet, walking up alone was not a good idea. As I made my way back towards the cafes and souvenir shops I could hardly see where I was walking.


By the time I got back to the cafes the rain had stopped and the fog had lifted. I purchased a book on Etna and had a cappacino in one of the cafes. As I was leaving Mr C popped into view, the cable car had arrived sooner than expected.

Honey Farm

Driving back from Etna we had a brief (not advertised) stop at a honey farm where we were able to taste mini samples of their produce. To my palate the honey was not as good as the honey we got from Chain Bridge Honey farm on our frequent visits to Northumberland.

Back at the hotel we chilled out before dining in Casa Nicolodi restaurant. We sat in a rooftop garden area with rustic walls, leafy trees, lemons and pomegranates. The food was lovely and the service so attentive that we felt we had been welcomed into a family home. On this occasion I chose sea bass coated in almonds with fennel and almond salad followed by Sicilian citrus mouse. Just as we were finishing our wine the heavens opened and everyone dashed inside,  seating themselves at the available indoor tables. The hosts were duly attentive in making sure that everyone was comfortably relocated.

22 Comments CherryPie on Nov 2nd 2019

22 Responses to “Taormina – Day Ten”

  1. I found out visiting volcano every one thought the sent from steam all smell different.
    To me it sort of smelled like top ramon. The cheap kind.
    Coffee is on

  2. The rooftop garden area with rustic walls, leafy trees, lemons and pomegranates sounds perfect, but can the diners see or smell the crater winds?

    • CherryPie says:

      The restaurant is a long way from the volcano. I have no sense of smell so I can’t comment on this. During our stay Mr C didn’t mention that he could smell crater aromas.

      From this inner courtyard there were no vista views just the intimacy of the courtyard with its own personal charm.

  3. Ayush says:

    i quite like this adventure, especially to the top of the crater. i have been intending to visit one in Indonesia (Mt Bromo), it is said that the sulphur is so strong that its fumes can inside unsealed objects and start to corrode from within.

    • CherryPie says:

      You should visit, it is a fascinating experience. Just make sure that you adhere to any safety information.

      Nature in these places is best understood by an expert :-)

  4. The Yum List says:

    Gee the surrounds are so green. That volcanic soil I guess.

  5. Ginnie says:

    I hate to say it, Cherry, but you had me at “We couldn’t help but overhear their loud conversations,” when you talked about the Americans. The longer I’m away the louder they seem to be. (sigh)

  6. Astrid says:

    You had a wonderful day out. And what an experience to be on top of the Etna. Great pictures again, Cherry.

  7. Super photos and it must have been a wonderful experience to visit Etna.

  8. ....peter says:

    you are a great photojournalist Cherie….peter:)

  9. Bernard (still resting) says:

    “To my palate the honey was not as good as the honey we got from Chain Bridge Honey farm on our frequent visits to Northumberland.”
    I’m not surprised. That is because we have British bees and over there they have the inferior EUB’s. You can’t beat good British clover honey.
    I also couldn’t see any clover or flowers on or around Etna.
    Anyway, you don’t need honey Cherie, you’r sweet enough without it. ;-)

    • CherryPie says:

      Our British bees love their flowers and the taste of the honey is based on the flowers they visit. One of the Chain Bridge flavours is lavendar.

      The EUB’s – I love it :-)

      The EUB’s (the small buzzy variety) weren’t the problem. The problem was humans adding flavours the bees natural produce.

      “Anyway, you don’t need honey Cherie, you’r sweet enough without it.”

      You are a sweet talker ;-)

  10. Sean Jeating says:

    Remember, remember, the fifth of November … ;-)
    Happy birthday, CherryPie, and for the next sun-orbit all the best!

  11. shabana says:

    finding people from our own part of land in foreign is always amazing :)

    volcano looks fascinating ,loved the second image more

    • CherryPie says:

      What are the odds of being in the same place at the same time, it is amazing.

      The volcano is amazing, I would love to go back and see it again.