Italia – Sicilia

We all know that Sicilia is the Italian island Piero and Ignazio call home, so lets start our virtual tour of the region with a little overview by our own MN.

Tidbits on Sicily by MN (mlla)

Sicily ( Sicilia) is an autonomous Region in Italy. The island of Sicily has a surface of 25,708 km², and has about five million inhabitants. It is also the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and it includes some groups of smaller islands like Isole Eolie, Egadi and Pelagie.

In Sicily you find, close to the cities of Messina and Catania, the Mount Etna the tallest active Volcano in Europe.”

Thank you MN for your contribution to Sicilia Part 1!




There are a number of ways to arrive in Sicily, of course you could fly, but you may also take a train, ferry or a hydrofoil. Our bus tour took us across the Strait of Messina  (Stretto di Messina) from Villa San Giovanni in Reggio Calabria by ferry. We arrived in Messina in about twenty to 30 minutes.  I think it took longer to load the ferry than to cross. If you travel by train, the train is loaded in a ferry and you are free to get out and roam around as we did.


20140321_183024   20140321_183143

20140321_183401    20140321_183532


Welcome to Messina

City of Europe

On the way to Mount Etna by tour bus






20140321_175529      20140321_175958











 Inside a crater


Walking around a rim on Mount Etna



 Numerous cones on the Etna

Etna continues to erupt and even though from a distance it looks as if it may have one symmetrical cone there are actually many cones across the mountain, visible in the pictures above.  There have been numerous lava flows on the Etna, after past explosions, authorities in Sicily have been forced to build dams or dig ditches to divert lava away from homes, some have been abandoned.


Additional Resources 
– Hydrofoil or Train

– Sicily Getting there & away

– Let’s Go For a Ride! How to Take a Train Across the Strait of Messina’s+Go+For+a+Ride!+How+to+Take+a+Train+Across+the+Strait+of+Messina

– Mount Etna volcano tour and Sicily tours

– There she blows: Mount Etna erupts for 13th time this year spewing lava and ash hundreds of feet into the air

Italia – Sicilia Part 1

Credits – MN and MFA


52 thoughts on “Italia – Sicilia”

  1. Thanks, Michelle! It’s so beautiful there. That apartment building…I could certainly live there! But it must be somewhat nerve wracking living in the presence of an active volcano… I’m sure that would terrify me.

    1. Kelly, It is sooooo beautiful! I would never be able to live on the Etna either but our tour bus driver does – he and his family live in Zafferena! BTW, that is our bus in the ferry! Michele

  2. This just keeps going and going: more and more reasons why this Il Volo site is the anchor, the king pin, etc. – in other words: GREAT SITE with wonderful work going out. Very interesting. I learned some things from this that I did not know even though I have been there. Thanks so much.

    1. Thank you Myron! I learned some new things too! Glad you enjoy the info! I can’t wait to go back. Michele

  3. Wow Michle & Mlla what fantastic pictures. Isn’t Ignazio & Piero living close to each other. Doesn’t Ignazio live across from Messina? Just guessing, I thought Ignazio lived near the water on the other piece of land from Messina?

    That video is scary but not so for the people who live there it is an everyday occurance. It is good that they can control the lava flow.

    I can’t run so I would have to high tail away on a scooter.
    That is interesting & wonderful pictures & am goiing to read every word Thank you so much both of you

    1. Hi Loretta, Ignazio does live across Sicily from Messina, Marsala is on the Africa side. The shortest route from Messina to Marsala by Google maps is on A20/E90 about 3 hours and 45 minutes with a toll. According to Google maps, Naro is a 2 hour and 22 minute drive from Marsala. The virtual tour has just begun – more to come!

  4. When I travel to Newfoundland I drove my van on a ferry to get to Newfoundland from Nova Scotia. It was neat & it took about 8 hours. I found a spot on a couch but the guy across from me snored all night so I couldn’t sleep plus others were talking all night. No fun. I came back a different way across the Bay of Fundy. Wonderful trip just the same, love Newfoundland & Nova Scotia.

    1. Sounds like a wonderful trip Loretta! I took an over night ferry from Palermo to Naples! There was a bad storm – it was a little scary! I will tell you about it when we get to Palermo.

    2. Loretta,
      I so want to go to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland also. I am always on the Nova Scotia live webcams seeing what is going on. My gd and I watch Merlin, the talking Parrot, the tide coming and going plus the fishing boats in the Bay of Fundy. Then of course, the famous Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, my favorite lighthouse. Maybe someday I will get there.

    3. It’s funny you all are talking Nova Scotia. All the snow birds are down here and for the first time I saw a car just the other day from Nova Scotia. My first thought is how I would like to see Nova Scotia. Hope to get there one day, too!

      1. My father was born in Palermo, or what was once a village just a few miles from there called Villa Bata… He would tell me how beautiful it was there and he always dreamed of visiting there just once more.. But he lost his sight to glaucoma and never was able to see his beautiful Italy again… I did one tour several years ago but it was not to Sicily… I will go to Sicily one day… That is my next goal and I will accomplish it I am sure…

  5. Thanks for the pictures and the info! Italy looks like such a gorgeous place to visit, especially Sicily! I have a general question for anyone here who might know the answer. Is there any way to make June get here any faster?

    1. Isabel,
      Your comment about wanting June to get here faster makes me wonder if you have found a way to get to one of the Concerts. Have you found a way Isabel to see Piero in Concert Isabel? I hope so.

      1. lol Strike one of the Isabel’s from the last sentence. lol I never learn to check, check and re-check before I hit that Post button.

      2. Thank you for your kind wishes, but right now it looks like the only way I’m going to see Piero in concert is via the Tube of You. I’ll be relying on all of you to make good, close up videos! 😉

      3. Isabel, the way you made it sound, I was so hoping that you found a way to make it to one of the concerts. Don’t stop hoping!!!!

        Jeanie, you are funny Jeanie. Don’t worry about what you type Jeanie. It’s what makes you fun Jeanie. (Is that enough Jeanie’s?) 🙂

      4. lol LeeLee,
        This darn keyboard with the keys spread apart and then my fingers do not type what I want them to. I don’t catch it until after I hit the Post Comment button.


  6. So many memories. Been to Sicily several times. Once by plane from Naples and it was a small plane, terrifying flight and took the ferry over once. Drove from Taormina – favorite place – to Palermo, beautiful deserted beaches along the way. Thanks for the pictures. I was not willing to go to Mt. Etna even though we were in Taormina for 3 days!

    1. I stayed on the beach in Giardini Naxos 2 nights and spent a day in Taormina – one of my favorites places too! But I really can’t choose a favorite place in all of Italy. I am so glad I did not miss going to Mount Etna!

  7. Loretta, if you type in: il volo Moscow 01.04.14 l’amore e ….amare l’amore(feat,toto cutuguo) – you tube you should get that last song. now, it is not a good video, and it skips some, but I am hoping that you tube will eventually put out a better copy

  8. Michelle,
    Thanks for the pictures you have put up so far and the great visual tour. We were in Italy back in 2007. It is so beautiful. Flew into Rome, train to Naples where we based ourselves. Then to the Island of Capri , Sorrento. We were able to go to the Vatican, and climbed to the top of the dome there. Not enough time there either. I had a lot of trouble walking at the time. I so want to go back to Italy. I still want to spend more time at the Vatican, Rome, Amalfi Coast, and Sicily, well, just all of Italy. We were on our own as ys had a conference to attend in Naples. It sounds like taking a tour is the way to go.

    I will be looking forward to the rest of your visual tour.

  9. Thanks Deanne I got a lot of what I didn’t see before where they went to the other side of the stage & shook hands with people & accepted flowers before going off stage. Nice ending.

    Now I am going to bed today wore me out looking for things i couldn’t find in the stores. Night all

  10. Oh how I would love to see Scily! I missed it when I went to Italy back in 2003. I plan to go back someday and perhaps see it. I was surprised to read how many people live on that island, its a lot larger than it looks!

  11. Thanks Michele! Pictures are beautiful! I would love to be there. Maybe you or Ann (or both!) can be my personal tour guide if I ever get to go there? Makes me want to rush June too. Everything makes me want to rush June!

    1. Marie, I think Michele and Ann would make excellent tour guides. But who are you kidding? We all know that you’d rather have the ‘dimpled’ one be your personal tour guide. Come on, admit it!

  12. Jeanie when you mention Island of Capri. My Father was I think Irish born in Scotland & the song he would always sing to my mother was Isle of Capri. He didn’t seem to be a romantaisist if that’s the right word. When he was younger apparently he had a good singing voice. None of us could sing of course.

    1. Loretta,
      I had to look up that song. I listened to both Frank S. and Bing C. singing it. Your father had to be a romantic person to sing that song to your Mother. How nice of him. I wonder if Gianluca will ever sing it because of his love for Frank S.

      I have got to start pushing (someone) for another trip or more to see Italy again. lol I just loved the time that we were there. There is so much to see and it truly is beautiful. I have talked to people that keep going back and back to Italy and have their favorite places they love and keep revisiting.

  13. Thanks Michele! I too love the pictures, etc. My ancestors are all from Sicily, my mother’s side is from Agrigento, not far from Naro, in a town called Casteltermini, and my father’s side is from Palermo. Our Italian Club is planning a trip to Italy next spring, and I plan to stay longer to visit these towns in Sicily, including Naro and Marsala, of course. While In Italy I plan to visit Montepagano as well since this will probably be the only trip I would ever be able to make.

  14. Oh how I envy all of you who have been to Italy and have seen all these glorious places.. But thanks to you Michele and all the others I can sit in the comfort of my home and tour Italy through all your pictures and articles.

    And Isabel if you find a way to get June here faster, let me know. Can’t wait to see Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca in Milwaukiee. Especially Piero!

    1. Allene,
      Travel to Italy via the Rick Steves show from the comfort of your own home. He is on PBS or you probably could get the shows from the Library. There is always a way. You can google live webcams/(place you want to see) and check it out that way also. You might run into a time change though with Italy especially. I do that all of the time.

      This is great though that Michelle and Mlla are doing this.

      1. Loretta, I just hope there’s enough of him left by the time you get to him. You do know she has 3 tries before he reaches Toronto. Just saying!

  15. Michele the train ride across the Strait and walking on the rims of Mt Etna sound very interesting. Oh how I wish I can go…this July to see those beautiful scenes and our guys in Taormina!

  16. My spous and I stumbled over here different page and thought
    I might as well check things out. I like what I see
    so now i aam following you. Look forward to
    looking at yoiur web page yet again.

Leave a Reply