Matt Munro

Ionian Coast

The Ionian Coast is studded with enough Sicilian icons to fill a souvenir tea towel. It’s here that you’ll find the skinny Strait of Messina, mighty Mt Etna and the world’s most spectacularly located ancient Greek theatre. Catania is the region's centre, a gritty, vibrant city packed with students, bars and nightlife. Its black-and-white baroque is World Heritage–listed, while its hyperactive fish market is one of Sicily’s most appetising sights. Halfway up a rocky mountainside, regal Taormina is sophisticated and exclusive, a favourite of holidaying VIPs and day-tripping tourists. Brooding menacingly on the city's doorstep, Mt Etna offers unforgettable hiking, both to the summit craters and around the woods that carpet its lower slopes. Etna is also a vino-making hotspot, dotted with vines and celebrated wineries. With a car and a little planning, the mountain sets a stunning scene for hunting out the perfect vintage.

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