Mount Etna, Sicily

[ Photo Blog  #65 ]


Giardini Naxos is a small town situated on the coast of the Ionian Sea at the foot of Mount Etna, in north-east Sicily.  This is the town outside which the cruise ship I was on in 2006 anchored enabling us to go ashore.  The approach from the sea is dramatic with the continually smoking volcano looking very close and dangerous to the town.  In fact the volcano does erupt regularly but appears to find a different exit point each time along the crest of the hill range, thus leaving several old craters which it is now reasonably safe to visit, or so we were assured!   In the past Etna has deposited its lava all along this coast and the evidence is easy to see in the long-since cooled and solidified lava floes now forming shelves of rock jutting out to sea all along this coast.  I have included two photographs of this below. 

Etna (1)

The sea approach to Giardini Naxos with Mount Etna smoking in the background

Etna (3)

Lava outcrops, now solidified spill into the sea all along the coastline

Etna (4)

Close-up of the lava deposits

My wife and I accompanied a group from the ship to take a coach to the mountain top – a journey of about 30 miles which takes approximately one hour along the winding uphill roads.  I include further  photographs of this dramatic journey below.

Etna (5)

A Giardini Naxos beach looking towards the ancient town of Taormina and its Saracen Castle

Etna (6)

Another idyllic beach and rocky outcrop near Naxos

Etna (10)

Looking back from the road leading to the summit

Etna (11)

Several views of the craters of old eruptions

Etna (9)

Etna (8)

Etna (12)

Flora gradually reclaiming a foothold on the barren earth

Etna (13)


Etna (14)

Etna (15)

Etna (16)

The tour guide serenades us with Italian operatic arias as we descend the mountain on the return journey



Venice, La Serenissima

Yes, I know photographs of La Serenissima, Bride of the Sea, are everywhere. However, I thought, for my travelogue this week, I’d throw in just a few of my own photographs taken on a short visit there ten years ago . . .


Sea Approach – note the snow-capped Alps in the background


The Doge’s Palace and the sea landing for St.Mark’s Square


Doge’s Palace and the Bridge Of Sighs


San Giorgio Maggiore from St.Mark’s Square


The rowers in the lagoon operate from a standing position


Sea entrance to one of the minor canals


The Grand Canal from St.Mark’s Square


Front of St. Mark’s Basilica from St.Mark’s Square


Al fresco entertainment in St. Mark’s Square


St.Mark’s Square with Basilica and Campanile


Gondolas for hire on the Grand Canal


A Venetian Gondola in a side canal


A canal-side ambulance station … “Aiutami”


A Jeff Koons ‘Balloon Dog’ sculpture on the Grand Canal


Just one of the many palaces on the Grand Canal