Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vacationing on the Sicilian Volcano – Agriturismo Il Ciliegio del Etna

Vacationing in Sicily is a bit different than the rest of Italy. The breathtaking landscapes, the rich cultural traditions, and the balance in life are part of the experience as the rest of Italy however the distances between locations are greater. Knowing your way around the island and the places to stay and eat is also extremely important as one can easily find themselves in an expensive structure that does not meet their expectations. This is more true in the large cities of Catania and Palermo. Over the years, with the help of Sicilian friends, I have found some interesting solutions that are both reasonably priced and where the service is excellent.

Outside of Catania, at 300 meters above sea level, on the slopes of the volcano Etna there is a great little agriturismo. When staying in the city is not a requirement this is a great destination. The internal restaurant prepares traditional recipes and is worth a visit even if you do not lodge in the rooms. The structure was initially built in the 1800s and recently restructured maintaining the original characteristics. Located in San Giovanni Montebello in the city of Giarre the Agriturismo Il Ciliegio del Etna is only 20 minutes from Taormina and overlooks the Sicilian coast of Catania.

The complex is in the middle of a citrus and fruit orchard. Needless to say the fruit, when in season, is heavenly. The restaurant is not sophisticated. It is like coming to dinner at your Italian cousin’s home. Homemade pasta, Mafalda bread, free-range meats, fruit preserves, Sicilian Pecorino, vegetables under oil, and the Olive Oil from the orchards of Etna. The Olive Oil is unique. The minerals and ash from the volcano, still active, enriches the land and gives the Olives from this area their flavor.

The agriturismo offers numerous activities. You can engage in cycling around the mountain, tennis, ping-pong and horseback riding. They also organize day trips for snorkeling in the Sicilian waters, deep sea fishing, hiking toward the mouth of the volcano, and boat tours through the caves along the coast.

This is a vacation into Sicilian life. The rooms are not luxurious, but they do have air conditioning. This is an opportunity to experience the rugged but beautiful island of Sicily through the flavors of the foods, the smell of the land, and the taste of the wine.

Agriturismo Il Ciliegio del Etna
Via F. Meda, 88/90
San Giovanni Montebello - Giarre (CT) - SICILY


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Blogger Doll Face said...

So tempted to buy a ticket and just go there. So beautiful! I've seen many pictures of and around Catania, I feel like I could go and be right at home...

2:32 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Natalie Perhaps this could be an opportunity to get to know a sun drenched Sicilian. Great food, breathtaking beaches, and a tremendous passion are the characterics of Sicily.

2:43 PM

Blogger Lexcen said...

David, I first became aware of the beauty of Sicily while watching the TV series Inspector Montalbano. Since then, it's become my goal to visit Sicily.

8:55 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Lexcen Wow, I did not know il commissario Montalbano ever made it out of Italy. Sicily is worth a visit, it is a window into time.

9:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Sicily should be on one of my must-travel-places list.

9:41 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Chase Sun and fun!!!

2:13 PM


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