22 miles of hiking • 6250' elevation gain •

Had 12 fabulous days in Sicily. We put in a lot of steps in the cities and ruins, and went on a few hikes. I even was able to go climbing for a day with a guide! Here are the hikes:

1) Pantalica- this is an ancient necropolis, located in the steep walls of a canyon, thought have been developed early in xxx BC by the Sicel peoples. Hundreds of rectangular rooms carved out of the limestone cliffs for laying the dead to rest. Later developed by Byzantine Christians and occupied by various peoples throughout the ages. Fascinating. 8 miles, 1500 ft

2) Eraclea Minoa- another remote ruin developed by Greeks and later taken over by Saracens, Romans and Normans. Built on a headland of fragile white chalky limestone, much of the city has been devoured by the sea. Spectacular headland and beach, very few people. 4 miles, 750 feet

3) Castelmola- early morning trip up to the medieval fortress town above Taormina. I actually bushwacked to find the old Saracen road behind some houses. Dreamy with Etna looming over this whole valley. 4 miles 1750 feet

4) Monte Etna. It has been very active this year, and now they only allow you to go to the summit with a guide. It was a bit too pricey for us, so we hiked around the site of the 2002 eruption at Piano Provenzana on the north side. We wandered the lava flows and walked along several satellite craters. There was some output from the summit while we were hiking, but when we arrived back at our apartment, we saw Etna spewing huge plumes of smoke into the sky from two different summit craters. 6 miles 2250 ft