A burning heart, a soul which is reflected in the splendour of the sea, a breathtaking beauty that makes you feel as suspended between earth and sky, between sea and fire. We are talking about Vulcano, Stromboli and Etna: three active volcanoes, capable to enrich everything around them, giving to Sicily a palette of unique colours – from the black of the lava, the green of the fields, the white of the fishermen’s houses, to the blue of the sea. Landscapes that attract tourists, especially trekking lovers. The best time to have a tour goes from the end of April until October.
The first leg of our trip through the “land of fire” is Vulcano, in the Aeolian Islands. While climbing the crater you will be enchanted by beautiful views; although it’s a very tiring practice you will be rewarded by beautiful natural wonders which will make your tour more pleasant. It seems to be on another planet or in another reality which brings us back to the myth of Hephaestus (the God of fire who used to work its forges here). The mud coming out from its underground is then used in the thermal baths thanks to its remarkable benefits on skin, bone and respiratory diseases. The island offers beautiful and dream-like beaches.
And then there is Stromboli, a true black oasis with very dark sand beaches. From here you can reach by boat the Sciara del Fuoco where you can admire the spectacular volcano’s explosions: you will left speechless! Another place to visit is Ginostra, a small village with a few inhabitants and pastel-coloured houses. Everything here is slow and seems to give peace to souls. In front of Stromboli, there is Strombolicchio, the natural habitat of the rare Aeolian black lizard. This rock is also the ideal place for the nesting of many species of birds.
Leaving the Aeolian Islands, you can proceed to Mount Etna, the highest volcano in Europe, declared Unesco World Heritage Site. The sides of the mountain are stained with the blood red of the lava flows. Moon-like landscapes, lush forests, breathtaking views inspire unique sensations. You can admire the small villages built on the mountain’s slopes which live in symbiosis with the volcano. You will have the opportunity to get away from the everyday routine while enjoying the nature, the warmth of its people and the traditional dishes of a reach and original cuisine, a blend of strong flavours deriving from different culinary influences.
Photo Gino Taranto