Mount Etna is not the volcano only. The little towns laid down on its slopes are likewise worth a visit. We will suggest you only a few, which undoubtedly deserve a short trip.
Castiglione di Sicilia
It is about 14km away from the property. From the old castle, baosting a watchtower dating back to the Middle-Ages, you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Alcantara Valley. Its historical centre is remarkable, with buildings in medieval and baroque style. Here you may find good little restaurants, and typical retail shops selling local wine by measure.
Randazzo (765m above sea level)
It is 30-40 minutes drive from the property, and it boasts an interesting historical centre, where you can admire the Norman Royal Palace in gothyc style, partly used as City Hall, and the Swabian Castle (formerly a prison). S. Mary's, S. Nicholas' and S. Martin's churches are also worth mentioning. Randazzo can boast excellent restaurants, and local pork sausage and red wine are very renowned. This town hold a singular record: though being the closest to Mounta Etna's larger mouth (which is only 15km away), it has always been spared by lava flowings through the millenniums!
Bronte (about one hour's drive from the property) is the Sicilian capital of pistachios, and it's renowned for food specialties made with that fruit. The pistachios' annual festival, where you can taste all kinds of pistachios special dishes, takes place around the end of September (September 25 through 28 in 2008).
Duchy of Bronte and Maniace
Maniace's Castle, a few kilometres from Bronte, nearby the omonymous village, is likewise worth mentioning. Formerly a prison, it was assigned to Horatio Nelson together with a feud of 9.000 hectares extension in 1799, by decree of King Ferdinand III of Bourbon, who appointed Admiral Nelson Duke of Bronte to thank him for his support during the revolution in Naples in 1796.
The castle was later inherited by the collateral line of the Hood Bridports, who sold it to the municipality of Maniace, together with the remaining lands, in 1981.