Messina (for Mount Etna) Cruises, Sicily
- Be in Piazza del Duomo for 12 noon. Here, a Norman citadel houses the world’s largest mechanical clock. At midday, gilt figures, including a roaring lion and a host of beautiful angels, emerge from the clock to re-enact the city’s history.
- Don’t miss Sicily’s star turn, Mount Etna. Europe’s biggest active volcano, it’s a contradiction in every sense - fiery and snowy, barren and lush, feared and loved. One of the best ways to see it is from the cutesy carriages of the Circumetnea Railway which follows a delightful route up along the slopes of the volcano.
- Talk about gorgeous. Perched high on a cliff above glittering blue seas, Taormina is arguably the most charming town in Sicily. Lose yourself in the cobweb of narrow backstreets. Put a dent in your holiday kitty along boutique-lined Corso Umberto. And head up to the Greek theatre at the top of town. Like curtains edging a stage, the ruins frame the silhouette of Mount Etna. Cameras at the ready.
- The shady goings on of the mafia underworld was famously showcased in the Godfather trilogy, much of which was shot on location in Sicily. Follow in the footsteps of Marlon Brando, Robert di Niro and Al Pacino around the so-called ‘Godfather Villages’. Take a peek inside the Bar Vitelli watering hole and visit the Church of Annunciation where Michael Corleone’s wedding was filmed. We’re making you an offer you can’t refuse.
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
Enjoy a scenic drive to Europe’s largest active volcano, the famous Mount Etna. Upon arrival at the Crateri Silvestri, around 1,950 metres above sea level, you’ll see slopes that soar up to 3,296 metres and mountains covered with cones and craters. From the top of the Silvestri crater, enjoy great views over the Gulf of Catania. However, the real attraction here is the crater itself and the remnants of awe-inspiring lava streams. Etna’s known to have erupted regularly during antiquity. The black lava around the crater dates from recent eruptions, while the grey lava is much older. Don’t miss your chance to see one of the most impressive volcanoes in the world.
One of the prettiest towns in Italy, Taormina’s been a holiday resort since Roman times. And here’s your chance to get to know this characterful Medieval town, whose cliff-top setting alone is enough to win you over. Set off on a guided walking tour, passing places like the Gothic Corvaja Palace. Taormina’s star turn though is a Greek amphitheatre, known as 'Teatro Greco'. Work began on the place back in the 3rd-century BC and it owes much of its appearance to the Romans, the Greeks' successors in Sicily. Architecture aside, it’s the backdrop that’ll really take your breath away. Cue sparkling blue waters, jagged peaks and Mount Etna smoking in the distance. After you’ve had a good look around, there’s time for a little souvenir shopping or a stroll down Piazza del Duomo before heading back to your ship.
Set on the southern slopes of the Peloritan Mountains, Savoca was founded in the first half of the 12th-century. Your local guide will show you round this pretty little town and take you the Chiesa Madre and the Church of the Capucines. Afterwards, stop in front of the famous Bar Vitelli made famous by The Godfather film for a photo opportunity. Then walk through the ruins of the Medieval Castle, soaking up the Sicilian atmosphere. Your tour will continue to the gorgeous Medieval village of Forza D'Agro. Overlooking the Ionian Sea, it’s protected by a rock on which the 16th-century castle was built. Walk to the Church of Annunciation, where Michael Corleone's wedding was filmed in The Godfather II, then have some free time for photos before returning to your coach.