volcanoes in Sicily

Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 03:50 AM
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volcanoes in Sicily

My husband and I are going for a week's trip to Sicily starting April 11th. Our charter includes a rental car. Since we're flying in and out of Catania we decided to focus on the eastern side of the island. After reading through everyone else's posts (thank you all!) we want to include a day or two on the Aeolian islands. We thought we'd leave the car in Milazzo, take the boat and stay over at Lipari or Vulcano so that we could do an excursion to Stromboli, including the 5 hour(3 up 2 down) afternoon hike to the crater. Can someone who's done it give us some advice : Is the hike a rough one? Is it suitable for two 58 year olds in reasonable shape but not particularly athletic? If we go up the Stromboli should we skip Etna? Active volcanoes sounds exciting, but we also want to get the feel of the towns of Sicily. The enthusiasm in your letters about Sicily is contagious!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:54 AM
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Tag32 - Didn't see this thread so I posted some things about geoexplorers and Stromboli under ( 1 week in Sicily)
http://www.swisseduc.ch/stromboli/index-en.html
This site has good info on climbing Stromboli. Under "virtual walks" click on Stromboli.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 09:49 AM
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My daughter studied in Sicily last spring and even took several courses in Volcanogy while there-she is a marine geologist. I was just talking to her on the phone and asked about your decision to go to Stromboli.She said that its quite a hike ("straight up incline") on Stromboli and particularly with it erupting lately-perhaps not a very good idea.She is 22 and in great shape and she said that it would be difficult for most people.There are lava bricks coming out periodically and she mentioned that you really would not be able to get all the way to the top. Her Volcanogy professor who is one of the leading experts in Sicily and works also for the Volcanogy center in Catania has stopped going there as it is dangerous now. He used to even camp on the base and lost a friend recently who did it.
She suggested that perhaps you should do a daytrip to the islands but concentrate on hiking or driving around Etna as it is amazing and provides some interesting hikes.Etna would allow you to be in the lava fields,see the collapsed domes,lava caves,etc. She made numberous trips to Etna both for school and pleasure(even skiied there last January) and said that there are many many things to see and do there.Springtime in Sicily will be wonderful with the flowers in bloom along with the lemon and orange groves all along the base of Etna.Just promise me that you will see Ortigia (the old section of Siracusa) to experience the wonder of Sicily-I would move there in a heartbeat! Have fun and also have a glass of Nero D'Avola wine for me.......ah,the good life!
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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Thank you Dutyfree and TravMimi for your help.
I'm combining your suggestions -- we'll stay overnight in Lipari so we can get at least a tiny taste of the islands and do an afternoon/evening boat excursion to see Stromboli at night from the water. We're booked at the Albergo Mendolito and they'll arrange for the Panarea-Stromboli excursion. Has anyone stayed there?

As for our hands-on volcano experience, we've checked out the geoexplorer website and have asked about tours on Etna. Hope the weather cooperates!
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 02:54 PM
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We did the Panarea - Stromboli excursion. We returned after dark (after seeing the action from the water off Stromboli). Several on our excursion were staying. They did the hike up in the late afternoon, and then they returned by a later boat, presumably not long before dawn. We got back to Lipari around midnight.
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 02:57 PM
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I have never stayed at Mendolita, but it's very pretty. Nice gardens and the walk into town or the hydrofoil pier is very plesant.
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Old Apr 6th, 2007, 12:03 AM
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We also did the excursion from Lipari to Stromboli in mid May. When the sun lowered, it was cold, and the trip back on the boat, was freezing. We had sweaters, but were still cold. Take lots of layers for warmth.

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Old Apr 30th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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We're back from a wonderful week in Sicily. Getting to go up 2 volcanoes definitely added to our falling for that island ! We decided to drive ourselves to Mt. Etna from Taormina instead of doing it with a guide. First we tried the northern side (Piano Provenzana) but it was still snowed in and there were no buses running to take us higher up than cars can go. The southern access from Refugio Spienza had a lot more action going on. We took the funicular way up and were then transferred to 4-wheel-drive buses that took us on roads dug out of deep snow to where lava had fallen the night before. Got to walk a few minutes through the snow (good thing we brought coats and real shoes-- the weather at sea level was warm!) and then on the still-hot lava. The view from up there was amazing and whole experience was exciting.

We had planned on going on the afternoon/evening excursion boat to Panarea and Stromboli from Lipari, but found out when the boat never showed up that it had been cancelled because of rough seas. Turned out to be okay cause the Stromboli had been quiet anyway for over a week. We decided on the spot to take a fishing boat over to Vulcano and walk up to the crater instead. The boat trip over included skirting the island of Lipari. The climb up Vulcano was steep and took us an hour and a half but it was absolutely worth the effort. Looking down into that crater was worth every huff and puff! Amazing view from up on top.
After seeing the effort involved in climbing the relatively easy Vulcano, I'm SO glad for the advice not to climb the Stromboli ! Dutyfree, please thank your daughter!


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Old May 4th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Glad you had a wonderful time -isn't Sicily a magical spot?
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