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3.5 Days in Sicilia (taormina base)

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Hi There,

In early August, I will be flying into Catania (Tuesday very early), and departing from Catania (Friday evening). My home base will be a hotel in Taormina, and I will have a car.

I need recommendations for nearby towns to see and generally speaking things to do. It's important to know the following:

- I would like to spend some time hiking, and have heard Etna can satisfy this craving. One or two hikes would be ideal (nothing more)

- I would like to have a VERY SMALL amount of time at a beach or two; not a huge proportion of the trip, but maybe half a day if there is a nice one

- I don't mind driving at all, so if there are towns 2 hours away, that's fine!

- The priority for my time in Sicilia = exploring and experiencing local small towns and the culture of those towns.

- I've spent an afternoon in Taormina once. Do I need more than a day of this trip exploring?

I've posted on here before on this topic, but I'm looking for the equivelant of my trip 2 years ago in Tuscany, where I used Montalcino as a base and explored all the small tuscan towns.

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