52 Reasons to Love Sicily | Etna Shows Her Power

52 Reasons to Love Sicily. #7. Europe’s largest, most active volcano, Mount Etna, reminds us that we are guests here. She is a living thing that morphs according to the latest volcanic activity. The slopes of this “mountain,” which isn’t really a mountain, offer microclimates that give us bold grapes for wine-making, outstanding porcini mushrooms…

Etna Awakened

Sicilians are buzzing because Mount Etna erupted last evening. No fear, Mamma Etna woke from a sleep, which locals much prefer over the other option: an earthquake. Authorities are monitoring the activity and are not concerned. (View of Etna from Taormina during a 2017 eruption)

Mount Etna’s First Flora

When you walk on Etna’s craters you can imagine how rich the mineral-filled lavic soil will one day become. It takes 100 to 700 years for lava soil to support new vegetation growth. One of the first natural plants to return (and pictured here) is Sicilian astragalus. Others include camomile flowers, Etna rennet, and tansy…

People Watching In Taormina

Perhaps Taormina’s best piazza for people watching is Piazza IX Aprile. The Church of San Giuseppe (from where this photo was taken) with its double stairway has held court here since the 17th century, while the historic Wunderbar Caffè (at my right from where I am standing) has played host to the likes of Truman…

A Palmento On Etna (Where The Magic Happened)

A palmento is a building and the antique mechanism inside of it where wine grapes were made into juice (mosto) that eventually became wine. This outstanding palmento photographed at Benanti vineyard offers visitors an opportunity to understand the wine-making process from ancient times and how that translates to today’s stainless steal, squeaky-clean laboratories and cantinas….