Carovana Romantica - Rally 2017- June 9/17 Southestern Sicily
Sparkling Seas, Restless Mountains
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Hospitality and Leisure
Carovana offers participants a refined hospitality in hotels and class facilities often exclusive, as well as social gatherings in wineries and farms, gala dinners, special musical events, folk welcomes in towns.
Dominating the landscape of eastern Sicily, Mt Etna is a massive brooding presence. At 3329m it is Italy's highest mountain south of the Alps and the largest active volcano in Europe. It's in an almost constant state of activity and eruptions occur frequently, most spectacularly from the four summit craters, but more often, and more dangerously, from the fissures and old craters on the mountain's flanks. This activity, which is closely monitored by 120 seismic activity stations and satellites, means that it is occasionally closed to visitors.
Spectacularly perched on the side of a mountain, Taormina is one of Sicily's most popular summer destinations, a chi-chi resort town popular with holidaying high-rollers and those wanting a taste of Sicilian dolce vita.
Granted it's unashamedly touristy and expensive, but the town merits a couple of days for its stunning ancient theatre, people watching and breathtaking vistas.
Founded in the 4th century BC, Taormina enjoyed great prosperity under the Greek ruler Gelon II and later under the Romans, but fell into quiet obscurity after being conquered by the Normans in 1087. Its reincarnation as a tourist destination dates to the 18th century, when northern Europeans discovered it on the Grand Tour. Among its fans was DH Lawrence, who lived here between 1920 and 1923.
Home to Magna Graecia’s most magnificent ancient city and some of Italy’s most glorious baroque towns, Sicily’s southeast is the island’s top draw. We'll be falling head over heels for Sicily's most beautiful towns: Noto, Modica and Ragusa, each one a feast of architectural flourishes (and gastronomic delights as chocolate in Modica, made following the raditional aztec receipe), all three towns rose from the rubble of an earthquake in 1693 to become luminous examples of Sicilian baroque. After exploring the slopes of Etna, the largest volcano in Europe, we will cross the region’s countryside, a sun-bleached canvas of sleepy backroads lined with carob trees, epic rocky ravines studded with prehistoric tombs, and tranquil, sandy beaches backed by bird-rich greenery. The route will finally lead us to the extreme Southern tip, Isola delle Correnti, at a latitude below Tunis and Algiers, where the sparkling sea and the remote landscape evokes the colors of Africa.
While Sicily’s southeastern tip offers little in the way of excitement, its electric colours, laidback atmosphere and relative lack of development make it a relaxing day trip from Noto. From town, the SP19 heads south towards Pachino, a busy, run-of-the-mill market town surrounded by fertile vineyards. A few kilometres before it lies the altogether more charming fishing village of Marzamemi, which doubles as a low-key summer resort.