On the slopes of Etna
Halfway between Taormina and Catania, Giarre is located on the east coast of Sicily, between Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea. Its panoramic position offers beautiful views of the Bove Valley, where most of the lava flows from the eastern slope of the volcano pour out. We recommend visiting the neoclassical Cathedral of Sant’Isidoro Agricola, the Church of the Oratory of San Filippo Neri, the only example of Sicilian Baroque architecture in the area, the Church of San Francesco al Carmine and the Sanctuary of Santa Maria la Strada.
The Via Callipoli and Corso Italia intersection is the beating heart of the historic centre, which is made up of lava-paved streets that run among 18th-century buildings and Art Nouveau residences, such as Palazzo Bonaventura, with its eclectic façade. Also, not to be missed are the Fountain of Neptune and the Monument dedicated to the Fallen in War. The gardens of Villa Margherita and Villa San Francesco d’Assisi are also worth visiting.
The city does not directly overlook the sea, but the Stazzo beach is just a few kilometres away. A half-hour drive up the coast are the beautiful coves of Giardini Naxos. For children, we recommend the Etna Adventure Park, the largest amusement park in southern Italy, with 17 attractions and a picnic area.