Taormina and Winery Adventure
On your way from Messina to Taormina you will see the 7m tall golden Madonna statue, this is the Holy Virgin of the port. Enscribed below the statue is a quote from a letter the Virgin Mary sent to the population of Messina in the year 42. Legend has it that the Apostle Paul came to Messina around this time two thousand years ago to convert the Sicilians to Christianity.
As you travel outside of the city you will feel the magical and mythical atmosphere spread all around which has enchanted visitors from all over the world for years. As you near your first destination of Taormina, you will view nestled on the hill of Monte Tauro, the city dominates two grand sweeping bays below. On the southern side, the top of Mount Etna, Europe's highest most active volcano, offers breathtaking, dramatic scenic views over almost one hundred miles of Mediterranean Sea.
You will soon discover Taormina seems to have been born a sought after destination when ancient people like the Sicels, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards chose it as their residential site thank to its favorable position, mild climate and esoteric atmosphere. The blue sky mixed with the crystal-clear sea and the fresh scent of citrus trees in the spring have always made this ancient land an open-air painting. During your guided, walking tour, admire the richness of one of the most important heritage sites in Sicily.
Next visit the Greco-Roman theatre (ticket included), still in use today. The ancient Greeks loved to construct their buildings in beautiful, scenic locations and they found the pairing of Mt. Etna and the bay of Naxos one of the best spots, where when the air is clear you may experience views that can reach the coast of Calabria. Surely the main monument of the city, not only for its intrinsic artistic value, but also for the scenic location in which it is placed. The auditorium is the second largest ancient theatre in Sicily after that of Syracuse. The niches that you can see behind housed the statues to embellish it and for the same reason, the columns were added to the sides of the stage. This place underwent various adaptations in Roman times to become also an arena for gladiators.
Continue your full-day journey next towards a famous winery located on the northern side of the ominous Mt. Etna. The sweeping, panoramic views and jaw-dropping upon arrival and here you will take a moment to relax and immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings. A delectable tasting of local wines and typical products await you in the natural setting of the volcano Etna. Enjoy three types of wine plus snacks that may include salami, olives, cheese, bruschetta, pasta and a sweet.
With your heart and mind full of unique and unforgettable emotions and experiences it will now be time to make your way to Messina with a short stop at a panoramic lookout point from where you will be able to see the main points of the historical centre.
With a day filled of completely Italian experiences, your friendly guide will leave you at the port area wishing you a safe journey onward but with the hope you will wish to return and visit magical Sicily once again.