Randazzo, Sicily; with a medieval centre and great views of Mount Etna

Photo of Randazzo in East Sicily

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Visit Randazzo

Randazza is located  on the north east of the island of Sicily. It is the closest town to Mount Etna and so is a popular base for trips to Mount Etna and you get great views of the brooding volcano from the town.

 Explore Randazzo

One of the most striking things about Randazzo is its position with a backdrop of the striking cone shaped presence of Mount Etna which is an active volcano which for some of the year is covered in snow. Mount Etna is one of three active volcanoes in Italy which include Stromboli, one of the Aeolian Islands of Sicily and Vesuvius near Naples in Italy.

However the city itself is attractive and a pleasure to visit. Its cathedral is made of the black larva rock from the vicinity and with its white stone edging to doors and windows is really quite striking and unusual. On the top of the cathedral there is a pointed belltower which was built in the 19th century to copy the original 13th century structure.

Santa Maria church Randazzo

Inside the cathedral there are statues by the Gagini School and paintings by Giuseppe Velasquez. The interior of the church is seperated by large black columns making the inside as unusual as the outside.

The Church of San Martino has a 14th century belltower topped by an octagonal spire and is often said to be one of the most beautiful in all of Italy! Inside is a work by Antonello Gagini.

Other buildings to look out for include the Palazzo La Scala, the Palazzo Rumbolo and the 'house of the Lanza'.

The remaining tower of a  Swabian Castle in Randazzo is now home to two museums. One is the Paul Vagliasindi Archaeological Museum with exhibits which include a collection by Paolo Vagliasindi. The second is a Sicilian puppet museum. Puppet theatre is a big thing in Sicily and the museum holds puppets of characters from the "Chanson de Roland".

Randazzo

Another museum is the Randazzo Museum of Natural Science which has a collection of birds, fossils, minerals and sea fauna amongst other things.

Places to visit nearby

Of course the most popular attraction nearby is Mount Etna and you can either drive to the Rifugio Sapienza where you can take a cable car to the top or you can take an organised tour to Mount Etna. If you want to catch sunrise or sunset on the volcano you can stay the night at the rifugio.

The Alcantara Valley is very beautiful and near to Motta Camastra there is a river beach which is a popular place for a swim! The Alcantara river park is also popular for rafting and hiking.

Montalbano Elicona is a hilltop village nearby and is classed as one of the "most beautiful villages in Sicily".

See also:

Map of Randazzo and places to visit

Randazzo places to visit