Catania, Sicily, Italy
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Approximately 5 Hours
Majestic Mount Etna, at 11,000 feet, is Europe's largest active volcano. Leaving Catania, you will pass through many villages, all closely connected to the volcano's history. You'll drive one hour by freeway before you head up the mountain's scenic lower slopes and switchback road. The views include forest, orchards and vineyards. Mt Etna's flanks are covered in cones, craters and the remnants of streams of lava.
At 6,200 feet, visit the Silvestri Craters and see the 1983 lava flow.
Continue down the mountain through lemon groves, chestnut and pine forest, which blend with the hardened lava and endless volcanic cones. After a 45-minute drive you'll reach the Gival factory at Giarre, and receive a very warm welcome from the staff as well as a cocktail to enjoy. Tour the small workshop and see the jewelry makers at work. Watch as they create their individual masterpieces of fine Italian gold and unique jewelry. Learn how some of the pieces are made with Sicilian amber and shells with lava from Mt Etna. See their extensive collection within the exhibition room, with an option to buy.
Enjoy several tasty Sicilian specialties after the presentation, before returning to the ship.
Wear closed-toe shoes for walking at Mt Etna. The ground around the Silvestri Craters may be uneven. There are approximately 30 steps to negotiate within the villa and there is no elevator. Tour operates weather permitting.