Villa Hirschen B&B

surroundings

Zafferana Etnea

Zafferana Etnea, summer and winter tourist resort for Etna, rises to 600 meters above sea level, on the eastern slopes of Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. It 'destination for tourists attracted by the spectacle of its eruptions, many holidaymakers in summer, attracted by the artistic heritage, monumental and cultural, of the hikers through the beautiful natural paths along the volcano and the numerous skiers in winter .Conta 8,194 inhabitants and is about 23 Km. from Catania 24 Km. from Taormina. The first itinerary is the lava flow of 1991/1993 then fermatasi at water level. The municipal park of Zafferana there is entered via the mountain, following then drove the signs leading after about four kilometers of paved road, water level, in meters. 800 slm.Arrivati, you will find a large, furnished open space, in which a flap of it, stopped the lava eruption of Etna began in 1991. Those who want to become more aware of the power and the force of the eruption will have to go back along the beautiful "dirt road" entirely paved initially borders the course of the eruption and then up on a ridge which overlooks the valley at several points on which it is channeled lava. Zafferana Etnea offering tourists visiting, several typical products, which meet the best palates, with the production of different kinds of honey, some specialty pastries, like the leaves from you skiers, the almond paste ,. The most famous product is the honey, which allowed Zafferana to call himself a "Honey City" title. One of the most important events held in Zafferana is the Octoberfest every year attracts many tourists every Sunday in October. The Octoberfest is divided into four or five festivals (depending on the number of Sundays in October):                                 

  • Wine Festival
  •                                 
  • Honey Festival
  •                                 
  • Festival of Etna apples
  •                                 
  • Festival of mushrooms
  •                                 
  • Chestnut Festival
                                The Piazza Umberto I houses many stands where you can taste the local sweets (skiers, the donuts, the almond paste, the leaves of tea, etc.), liqueurs, wines, honey, nougat and the caramelized nuts, pistachio ice cream and many other delicacies. In the Municipal Villa, below the square, they are placed the stands displaying and selling sausages, typical Sicilian cheese and canned food. A large space, that of the former municipal sports field, is used as a gastronomic area where visitors can taste and desserts sandwiches with sausage and pork or horse, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms and seasoned olives. A space is also reserved for voluntary associations and social solidarity for information and fund-raising for humanitarian purposes.

Varied and interesting are the cultural tourist activities that take place in Zafferana, like the Brancati prize, dedicated to the famous writer who loved to stay here, as Verga, Capuana and De Roberto. And finally the ' "Octoberfest", shows the typical market, gastronomy, and crafts which are set up tours, shows and exhibitions. Typical product par excellence is honey that has enabled Zafferana to bear the honey title of "city". Beekeeping is in fact the most flourishing business and has made the city one of the largest honey producers in the national field with 15% of production and a concentration of about 800 small businesses in the sector. The typical Zafferana honey specialties vary from one blossom to those of orange, chestnut, eucalyptus, lemon, wildflower and prickly pear. An important place has the quality wines produced in Zafferana vineyards, many with D.O.C. brand, also purchased from private practice who retail sale.

Then there are also pears, cherries, peaches and apples (the latter in the various qualities of "cola", "cola ice cream", "delicious white and red") resulting from organic farming, often offered for sale by the producers and shown the door home. Prized mushrooms collected in the woods Zafferana available from November to May that dominate local markets, and the menus of local restaurants and taverns where they become the basis for the preparation of delicious meals. Notable is the bakery that includes the "skier": a biscuit covered with milk chocolate, now also available in variants with white chocolate and pistachio. The "skier" was invented in Zafferana to meet the energy needs of direct skiers to the ski slopes of Etna; the marzipan, hazelnut and pistachio; the "cassatele cottage cheese"; and "tea leaves": warm cookies thin leaf-shaped almonds, available today in even the pistachio and hazelnut variants, prepared according to an exclusive and secret recipe.

Zafferana

ETNA

The most famous eruption of Etna is that of 1669, which reached the outskirts of Catania, while the most violent fù that of the 6 to 7 November 1928, which came in Mascali destroying it. Like eruptions of today it is already mentioned in 1997 there were some small activities of shooting events. Beginning of 1998 was felt a series of shocks, which caused collapses in Biancavilla and that marked the beginning of a new active phase of Mongibello. The first crater was interested in the Southeast with Strombolian activity. Following a swarm of about 150 shook his magma column inside the Southeast crater suddenly dropped, causing a fracture at the base of the latter. The magma spewed from that rift by creating small very dense flows that were going to become extinct due to poor nutrition and little slope. The earthquakes accompanied by activities of the summit craters were followed until a tremendous explosion started the new activity of the central crater, July 22 '98 Following this explosion a dense cloud of ash and hit Catania Fontanarossa airport which was forced the closure. During August the same year the Etna alternated violent explosions and ash expulsions always accompanied by small earthquakes or violent explosions heard by Nicolosi and Zafferana countries. From September onwards the crater of Southeast resumed his activities with spectacular strombolian activity and magma overflows accompanied by a continuous swarm. The small cast still halted after a few hundred meters because of their density and temperature. In January of the following year a new phase. The beauty of the park is not only the grandeur of eruptions and lava flows. Around the big volcano it extends a unique and unparalleled, rich in sounds, perfumes and colors. An enchanting landscape, protected by a natural park that anyone in Sicily can not fail to visit.

Etna

TAORMINA

Taormina is located about 200 meters above sea level and a panoramic view which stands the volcano Etna.Tourism in Taormina is active throughout the year and has hosted famous personalities, among other things it is often chosen by many famous directors for ideal sets for their films.Tourists concerned has really spoiled for choice: it can make a historical and cultural tour of the city to admire its cultural heritage such as the cathedral dedicated to St. Nicholas, the various churches, palaces, and one of the main attractions, the famous Teatro Greek.  Taormina is facilitated by a mild climate, enhanced by the rich vegetation and proximity to other resorts.It is characterized by natural sites such as the Bay of Mazzaro bounded by Capo Sant'Andrea and Isola Bella and the greenery, worthily represented by the Garden of the Villa Comunale.There are numerous events and events that every year especially in summer, are made in Taormina. Exceptional setting of concerts (classical and popular music), plays, operas, great evenings of entertainment often from broadcasters (the ceremony for the delivery of the Silver Ribbons, Festivalbar, the Kore, just to name a few ) is the oldest eatro. Since 1983, the most significant events, are made as part of Taormina Arte, the cultural institution that takes care of the organization of the festival of music, theater and dance, considered among the most important on the national scene. When programming also includes the Taormina Arte Taormina Film Fest, the Taormina Film Festival, heir to the film review of Messina and Taormina, founded in 1960, which for two decades housed the David di Donatello with the participation of the most famous celebrities . As part of the Film Festival are delivered, the ancient theater, the prestigious Nastri d'Argento awards from film critics. Since 2005, Taormina Arte, organized in October, the Giuseppe Sinopoli Festival, dedicated to the great conductor, who died in 2001, for years the artistic director of Taormina Arte.

Taormina

NICOLOSI

Nicolosi is nicknamed the gateway to Etna; Nicolosi is located alongside de 'Monti Rossi, to 691 m. above sea level ... and at 2626 m. below the summit of Etna. "The country, the center of Nicolosi, has about 5500 inhabitants: the main activities are related to trade, to tourism, but the economy is still connected, although to a lesser extent agriculture in most forms equipped and modernized according to the dictates of the Etna Regional Park. Nicolosi has a cultural and artistic heritage, especially religious, with its many churches. the city is dotted with altars, that remember the events related to the troubled relationship with Etna. Among where the three Altarelli, monument with three arches, built in the eighteenth century. at the stopping point of lava of 1766, where it reproduces, the depiction of images of St. Anthony of Padua, St. Anthony Abbot and the Madonna delle Grazie. leaving from Nicolosi town you can find the Monti Rossi extinguished volcanic cones, with beautiful nature trails where you can take day and night walks on foot or by bicycle; as well as excursions, possible, to Etna's summit craters and caves whether created during the various eruptions. The first Sunday of July, will be celebrated patron of the city, Sant'Antonio Abate. Mondays will be performed by the citizens, the ancient sung to the saint, everything will end with the fantastic fireworks.

Nicolosi

Gole dell’Alcantara

The Alcantara river is one of the most important rivers of Sicily. It born from the Nebrodi Mountains at an altitude of 1250 meters. near Floresta, and flows for 50 km. about before flowing near Capo Schisò  Along the course of the river plant landscape is dominated by rich countryside planted with fruit trees, but still, on the shores, a healthy and natural environment. There are numerous riparian thickets formed by willows (white, pedicellato and the Gussone endemic), whites and blacks poplars, ash and alder blacks; occasional holm oak and above all, for the ecological importance, rare now available oriental plane trees, in Sicily, only in the rivers of the east. The waters of the river, cold and clear, are populated by a rich variety of aquatic species, floating or rooted, especially in the sections where they run quieter, circular ponds dug in lava flows. The gorges are passable when the water is low, usually the riverbed is passable from May to September.The walk down allows you to have a nice overview of the initial part of the gorge. The hike to the gorges takes about an hour and a half and the suggested route is challenging and complex, recommended for experienced hikers with a good swimmers. From the beginning, in fact, we are immersed in the water, frosty, to the waist and along the way are also planned some places to swim. Indispensable a swimsuit and a pair of tennis shoes without socks.

Gole Alcantara