Sicilian Sights - Mt. Etna Volcano and Messina

Cruise ships sailing the Mediterranean often stopover in Messina, Sicily in order for passengers to visit the Mt. Etna volcano or the charming Sicilian village of Taormina. The drive from Messina to Mt. Etna is about an hour, and the bus drives along the coast, passing by many lemon trees, before starting the long, winding climb to the visitors' center on Mt. Etna.

Mt. Etna is high enough to have skiing in the winter, and the lava flows and volcanic sites are quite interesting. The visitors' center also has a hotel, a couple of restaurants, and a few souvenir shops.

In addition to visiting Mt. Etna, many cruise ship passengers manage to fit in time for one of Messina's famous canolis, which are excellent.

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The Italian Island of Sicily

View of Mt. Etna and the Island of Sicily from the Strait of Messina
Sicily and Mt. Etna Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Messina, Italy on the Island of Sicily

Messina, Italy on the Island of Sicily
Sicily and Mt. Etna Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Messina, Italy

Messina, Italy
Sicily and Mt. Etna Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Messina, Sicily

Messina, Sicily
Sicily and Mt. Etna Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Messina, Italy

Messina, Italy
Sicily and Mt. Etna Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Harbor in Messina, Italy on the Island of Sicily

Harbor in Messina, Italy on the Island of Sicily
Sicily and Mt. Etna Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Harbor at Messina, Italy

Harbor at Messina, Italy
Sicily and Mt. Etna Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Highway Along the Strait of Messina

Highway Along the Strait of Messina
Sicily and Mt. Etna Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Mt. Etna on the Island of Sicily

Mt. Etna on the Island of Sicily
Sicily and Mt. Etna Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Mt. Etna towers over the island of Sicily and can be easily seen from cruise ships sailing through the Strait of Messina separating Sicily from Italy.

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Snow on Mt. Etna in May

Snow on Mt. Etna in May
Sicily and Mt. Etna Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Hiking the Lava Fields on Mt. Etna in Sicily

Hiking the Lava Fields on Mt. Etna in Sicily
Mt. Etna Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Lava Fields on Mt. Etna on the Island of Sicily

Lava Fields on Mt. Etna on the Island of Sicily
Mt. Etna Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Mt. Etna Souvenir Shop

Mt. Etna Souvenir Shop
Mt. Etna Volcano Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Souvenir seekers need not worry--there are plenty of places to buy volcano souvenirs on Mt. Etna.

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Mt. Etna Volcano Lava Flow

Mt. Etna Volcano Lava Flow
Mt. Etna Volcano Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Mt. Etna Volcano - Ski Lift and Snowy Mountaintop

Mt. Etna Volcano - Ski Lift and Snowy Mountaintop
Mt. Etna Volcano Picture (c) Linda Garrison

We were surprised to see the snow on Mt. Etna when we visited in mid-May. The volcano is also popular for skiing in the winter, and you can see the ski lifts.

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Mt. Etna Volcano Ash Cone

Mt. Etna Volcano Ash Cone
Mt. Etna Volcano Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Mt. Etna Volcano Lava Flow Stops at Restaurant

Mt. Etna Volcano Lava Flow Stops at Restaurant
Mt. Etna Volcano Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Mt. Etna continues to be an active volcano, and this lava flow mysteriously stopped before covering this restaurant/bar on Mt. Etna.

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Mt. Etna Volcano on the Island of Sicily

Mt. Etna Volcano on the Island of Sicily
Mt. Etna Volcano Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Mt. Etna Volcanic Crater on the Island of Sicily off the Coast of Italy

Mt. Etna Volcanic Crater on the Island of Sicily off the Coast of Italy
Mt. Etna Volcano Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Many visitors to Mt. Etna spend their time hiking on the ash cones and volcanic lava fields.

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