Catania, Sicily, Italy
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Approximately 7¼ Hours
Nothing in Catania and its surroundings is unaffected by Mt Etna volcano, lurking in the background. Etna seldom sleeps and, even when she does, it is with one eye open. The same could perhaps be said of the wineries, towns and cities that dwell in her shadow, some of which you will explore today.
Walk through the grounds of the Scammacca del Murgo Winery, located near the base of the Mt Etna. Taste a variety of wines as a member of the Murgo family explains how the volcanic soil helps create vintages with intense flavors. The winery's vineyards, methods, history and future are up for discussion -- bring your questions.
From a stunning viewpoint, you'll see where more than 10 billion cubic feet of lava flowed down this mountainside between 1991 and 1993, nearly burying the town of Zafferana. Fortunately, United States Marines and Italian vulcanologists were able to create a diversion channel and save the town.
Enjoy the highlights of the city of Catania and admire the many historical monuments it has to offer. Your panoramic drive through Sicily's second-largest city showcases how its growth has been affected by its relationship with the mighty Mount Etna. On several occasions Catania has been decimated by lava flow and in 1693, the city was level by a terrible earthquake. Rebuilt in Sicilian Baroque style, it offers some rather lovely architecture.
From Piazza Roma, view the beautiful Bellini Gardens and take see the cathedral in the town center of Catania. You'll also see University and Stesicoro Squares. Follow your guide along the main street on a walk to Cathedral Square, with its beautiful Baroque palaces and famous Elephant Fountain.
Wear comfortable walking shoes.