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Going from Mount Etna to Marzamemi – a delightful seaside village that has become a tourist resort – doesn’t even take that long. Just over an hour on the highway is enough to find yourself from an environment of woods and rocks to one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily! But we suggest you an itinerary that includes a few stops, because along the way from Etna to Marzamemi you will come across numerous places that are worth the visit. Ready to go?

From Mount Etna to Augusta

Etna is the queen of Sicilian tourist destinations. The great volcano that here, for everyone, is a “female” offers many ideas for relaxation and fun. Its eruptions, certainly, but also paths that make you get lost in pine, birch and oak woods. And high mountain refuges. But Etna is also the territory of good food and of towns and cities that excel in this: the strawberries of Maletto, the pistachios of Bronte, the granitas, the wines. Once you’ve had your fill of so much beauty, leave for another fascinating destination: Marzamemi.

You will pass many famous places along the way, but prefer for once to visit the lesser known ones. Augusta for example. Snubbed by everyone due to the oil refining industries, which certainly don’t make the environment attractive, the town deserves tourists attention, instead.

The old town of Augusta is located on an island connected to the “mainland” by two bridges. The churches are beautiful and often very old, although rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. The predominant style is Baroque, different from that of Noto but no less interesting. Visit the churches of the Assumption, Purgatory, St Domenico and the original “Round Church of St Maria del Soccorso”. And again, the ancient Swabian Castle, the Avalos Tower, the ruins of Megara Hyblea and the beautiful lighthouse.

Towards Syracuse…

From Augusta, continue south towards Syracuse. Along the way you will come across the Saline di Priolo nature reserve, where in certain months of the year it is possible to admire the arrival of pink flamingos from Africa! For the beauty of its old town, Melilli would also be worth a visit … but certainly Syracuse is more demanding.

There are many things to see in the district capital. The Baroque historic center on the island of Ortigia, where you can admire the cathedral built directly on an ancient Greek temple (the columns are still visible!). A walk from the Temple of Apollo to the Aretusa fountain will allow you to walk through the narrow streets full of interesting cafes. Just outside the city is the archaeological park with the famous (and functioning) Greek theater and the ruins of the ancient city.

The baroque splendor of Avola

Before arriving in Avola, coming from Syracuse, it is nice to stop and admire the spectacular nature offered by the Plemmirio promontory and the beaches of Arenella and Ognina. Here it seems that man has never arrived and that the world has stopped between the caves of the Pillirina and the white sands of the coast.

from etna to marzamemi
marzamemi – photo PIERANGELO AVERARA pixabay

Avola is very close to Noto. But for once we invite you to “snub” the famous Baroque city to get to know the “capital of almonds”. In addition to the excellent desserts made from this fruit, Avola also offers a fascinating historic centre. The churches (to name just a few of the many: St Venera, St Giovanni, St Antonio, the Main Church, the Church of the Madonna del Carmine) and the palaces located in the heart of the city are white-stone works of art. They certainly reflect not only the Baroque style but also art-nouveau style (Casa Riscica, for example). Not far from Avola are the nature reserves of Vendicari and Spiaggia Calamosche.

Finally Marzamemi

Before arriving in Marzamemi, spend an hour or so in Pachino, the municipality to which the village refers. Pachino, home of the famous red cherry tomatoes, is also a city rich in history. The eighteenth-century churches and buildings in the center compete with the ancient archaeological ruins (necropolis, caves, a Roman-era village but also an ancient abandoned tuna fishery) to offer captivating itineraries. The road that leads to the sea will bring you to Marzamemi. The small hamlet – literally ten houses! – had been abandoned by fishermen. But it has been restored, renovated and transformed into a place of rustic attractions for tourists. A small dream made of simple things in front of a sea that changes colour in an extraordinary way, at sunset.

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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