TRANSFEERO: Reliable airport transfers worldwide
Book a private transfer at over 1500 airports, stations and ports worldwide

To reach Randazzo from Catania you need to go around Mount Etna and wander through expanses of vineyards and ancient lava flows that dot a (semi) flat area. Located on the northern flank of the volcano, this ancient medieval city is a point of reference for the most beautiful winter excursions. On this side of Etna, in fact, the snow melts very late in the season… it happens that you still find some in April and early May. By visiting Randazzo you can dedicate the entire excursion to the town or wander towards the suggestive nearby locations. The ideal period to do this is between February and March.

Walking through Randazzo…

RANDAZZO winter2Randazzo formed and developed in the period of the Norman conquest, immediately after the fall of Arab domination (11th century). Unlike many other Etna cities destroyed by earthquakes and eruptions, here the history remained intact. Even today the oldest quarters of Randazzo preserve and proudly display 13th and 14th century architecture, arches, bridges and spires that recall ladies, knights and kings of the Middle Ages.

The vibrant heart of the town is certainly the Latin Quarter, as the historic area that revolves around the spectacular church of Santa Maria is called. This Gothic temple, built entirely of lava stone with white stone decorations, is the most beautiful church in the city. Despite having preserved a certain internal simplicity, several baroque details stand out which also recall the Spanish influence on the city. The other notable church in Randazzo is Saint Nicolò, in the so-called Greek Quarter. The exterior is a mix between the body of the old medieval church and a more recent, baroque façade dominated by a dome added in 1904. The interiors were rebuilt after the damage caused by the bombings of World War 2. Saint Martino (Lombard Quarter) also presents itself with two styles: a recent and classical façade and a beautiful Gothic bell tower in lava stone. Of particular note are the tower’s beautiful mullioned windows with two-tone stone frames.

Mullioned windows are almost everywhere, even on other architecture in the historic center of Randazzo. These medieval windows, together with the arches, are the prominent element of the local art. And if we talk about arches, how can we forget the famous Via degli Archi which elegantly connects the Town Hall square to the Greek Quarter. Walking under this series of medieval structures you feel partly like a courtier of past local lords!

Randazzo and Etna

Randazzo and Etna have an ancient bond and a thousand-year-old love and hate relationship. The city was also the protagonist of one of the most dangerous recent eruptions of a volcano which usually, on the contrary, does not threaten or cause too much damage. But in 1981, due to a lateral eruption resulting from a low-altitude fracture, Etna’s lava came too close to the town, overwhelming some houses in the hamlets around the centre. Today that lava flow is still there and is also a tourist attraction.

Base yourself in Randazzo in winter

If you base yourself in Randazzo in winter you will not only visit many interesting monuments but you will also be able to enjoy snowy landscapes and fairytale scenery. The suggestion is to go at the end of winter, so as to find less snow in the city and, on the contrary, a lot on the nearby ski slopes. In fact, from Randazzo you go up quite easily towards Piano Provenzana, following the road that leads first to Castiglione di Sicilia and then to Linguaglossa.

From Randazzo you can also set off to discover places such as Lake Gurrida, Maletto, Floresta, Santa Domenica Vittoria and the Argimusco Caves Oriented Reserve. Some of the most beautiful views of Randazzo were taken in winter, on the road that continues towards the Nebrodi mountains: the panorama of this town emerging from the snow, with the bell tower of Santa Maria and the smoking craters of Etna above all, is truly breathtaking.

The cellars in winter

Winter is the best time to taste the area’s wines. The harvest is usually held between September and October, so during the winter season you can taste the new wines from the surrounding countryside and also the high quality productions of the DOC vineyards. Not far from Randazzo lies Solicchiata which, together with Passopisciaro, is the kingdom of the production of excellent Etna wines. In winter a nice glass of good wine can make you feel good, warming both the body and spirit.

How to reach Randazzo

From Catania: you can opt either for the SS121 state road which connects the main Etna city to the centers of Paternò, Bronte, Maletto and Randazzo following the western side of the volcano; or via the A18 Messina-Catania motorway, exit at Fiumefreddo and go up towards Piedimonte, Linguaglossa and Castiglione di Sicilia.

From Messina and Taormina: you arrive at Randazzo via the same A18 motorway and exit at Fiumefreddo, if you arrive directly from Messina, or via the roads of the Alcantarea valley, SS120 or SS 185. (PHOTOS BY G MUSUMECI)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

Airport Transfers