Fodor's Expert Review Circumetnea
Instead of climbing up Mt. Etna, you can circle it on this private railroad, which runs between Catania and Riposto; by following the base of the volcano, the Circumetnea stretches out a 31-km (19-mile) journey along the coastal road to 114 km (71 miles). The line was first constructed between 1889 and 1895 and remains small, slow, and single track, but it has some dramatic vistas of the volcano and goes through lava fields. The one-way trip takes about 3½ hours, with departures every 90 minutes or so. After you've made the trip, you can get back to where you started from on the much quicker, but less scenic, conventional rail service between Riposto and Catania.