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Country and people, Italy, Italy's regions

Sicily – beaches and the most active volcano

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and offers a fascinating mix of culture, history and nature. The largest island in the Mediterranean became known as the island where the lemons bloom. Today, artists, adventurers, seaside holidaymakers and culture lovers are drawn to Sicily and more than a few are toying with the idea of investing in property in Italy.
Sicily is rich in historical sites, some of which date back to Greek, Roman and Arab times. A fascinating experience is exploring the mountainous region of Mount Etna. The summit of the most active volcano in Europe rises more than 3,300 metres into the air and the fire-breathing mountain regularly spews out lava and ash.

While the Monti Madonie mountain massif and Mount Etna dominate the landscape in the north of Sicily, the hilly southeast with its long beaches is ideal for a beach trip. Excellent water quality and fine sand await you at the beaches of Pachino, Santa Maria del Focallo and Portopalo di Capopassero in the extreme southeast of the Mediterranean island.
Miles of sandy beaches also stretch along the coast in the Oasi Vendicari nature reserve. For many Sicilians, the idyllic Cala Mosche bay is one of the most beautiful on the island. You can enjoy swimming with a fantastic view of Mount Etna at the sandy beach Baia dei Mori in Vaccarizzo.

Palermo and Taormina
Palermo is the capital of Sicily. The city is known for its beautiful architecture, its magnificent palaces and its vibrant cultural scene. One of the most famous buildings in Palermo is the Norman Palace, which was built in the 12th century and is now a museum.

Another highlight in Sicily is the city of Taormina, perched on a mountainside above the sea. Taormina welcomes you with enchanting gardens, picturesque alleys and a breathtaking view of the sea. One of the city’s most famous landmarks is the ancient theatre, which was built in the 3rd century BC and is still used today for concerts and theatre performances. Goethe was already impressed by the building on his trip to Italy.

The Baroque Towns in the Val di Noto
In the southeast of Sicily, the Val di Noto is a long valley in which eight baroque towns vie for the favour of visitors to the island. The similarities in architecture are no coincidence in towns like Catania, Noto and Ragusa. In 1693, a devastating earthquake devastated the entire region. The simultaneous reconstruction of the cities was carried out in the late Baroque style. Because of this extraordinary architecture, the eight towns in the Val di Noto were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Etna: Europe’s most active volcano
Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna, is located in Sicily. The summit is over 3,300 m high and it is not uncommon for a thin column of smoke to curl over one of the four main craters. The landscape around the volcano is characterised by lava flows, rock formations and unique flora and fauna. There are many hiking trails leading up to the summit region. Along the flank of the fire-breathing mountain, the Strada dell’ Etna road winds its way up to an altitude of around 2,000 metres. At the car park is the valley station of a cable car that takes visitors up to an altitude of 3,000 metres. The last stretch to the crater rim has to be done on foot.