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Visit East Sicily

The eastern section of Sicily runs along the coast from Messina south to Catania and Lentini, and inland to the mountains - the Monti Peloritani to the north of the region and the area around Mount Etna - the Mount Etna Regional Parc - to the south. A little inland of Catania the town of Paterno has an interesting Norman castle.

To the north of the region, Messina retains many interesting highlights despite an earthquake that devastated the town in 1908 and a great deal of further damage during World War 2 - a significant part of the town has been rebuilt as it was before the damage.

Heading south from Messina is one of the classified 'most beautiful villages in Italy' at Savoca and further down the coast is  Taormina which is one of the most popular towns on Sicily, and is the highlight of a visit to eastern Sicily. In a particularly attractive location, 200 metres above the sea on the side of Mount Tauro, it is a lovely town to explore with a great deal of interesting buildings to enjoy and plenty of shady cafes to stop for a rest from the heat.

See also the popular Giardini Naxos a little way south of Taormina, and the 'most beautiful village' at Castelmola above the town.

South of Giardini Naxos the seaside towns of Acireale has attractive Baroque architecture and Aci-Trezza is known for its views of the Islands of Cyclops.

Mountains

It is Mount Etna, the quietly active volcano, that dominates the region and is visible from much of eastern Sicily. It is possible to trek up the mountain (guided tours) or to travel around the base, either by car or on a special tourist train. The higher up Etna you go, the more the terrain changes - from the very fertile lands lower down to barren ash and lava fields higher up - each landscape is well worth seeing.

Randazzo is the closest town to Mount Etna and is an attractive base for visits to the volcano..

The Peloritani Mountain range, though less immediately dramatic, also merits exploration - much of the region is very hard to access but some of the villages on the lower slopes merit a visit, such as Casalvecchio Siculo, Forza d'Agro and Savoca.

Beaches

Some of the best beaches along this stretch of coast are near Taormina - there are pebble beaches at Mozzaro just below the town, and sandy beaches a few kilometres to the south. many of the beaches are crowded and it is often necessary to pay for access.

Isola Bella is one of our favourite beaches and can be reached by taking a cable car down from Taormina.

See also:

Map of East Sicily and places to visit

East Sicily places to visit

Aci-Trezza

Aci-Trezza

Aci-Trezza is a quiet fishing and seaside town with dramatic rocks in the sea.

>> Aci-Trezza guide
Acireale

Acireale

Acireale has some fine Baroque buildings in its centre.

>> Acireale guide
Castelmola

Castelmola

Castelmola is one of the most beautiful villages of Sicily

>> Castelmola guide
Catania

Catania

Catania is an interesting city with an attractive centre.

>> Catania guide
Giardini Naxos

Giardini Naxos

Giardini Naxos is a popular seaside resort near to Taormina.

>> Giardini Naxos guide
Messina

Messina

Messina has an attractive cathedral and main square.

>> Messina guide
Mount Etna

Mount Etna

Mount Etna is one of the few active volcanoes in Europe and it is possible to visit it

>> Mount Etna guide
Randazzo

Randazzo

Randazzo is the closest town to Mount Etna and is an attractive base for visiting the volcano.

>> Randazzo guide
Savoca

Savoca

Savoca is famous for its Godfather connection and its Cappuccine monastery

>> Savoca guide
Taormina

Taormina

Taormina is a beautiful town in the hills above the coast with a magnificent Greek theatre.

>> Taormina guide
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