Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Good Morning, Etna.

I posted the following message on Motorhome Adventures:

"Good morning!" Etna said when I opened the door of the van..

With the following photo as evidence:

So, you will gather we never did manage the trip to Lipari. We returned to the place yesterday, but even the quayside parking area had the barrier down and a 'completo' sign illuminated in front of the utterly empty, weedy parking bays. There was plenty of waste ground where we could have left Maisy for the day while we hopped off to Lipari, but the security risk was not something we were prepared to take. Another time we promised ourselves.

We decided to head instead to Etna Wine, an Agrotourismo with a Sosta in the fertile high valley that runs down the west side of the volcano. For some reason Muriel directed us back along the motorway to Messina, around by Taomina then up a steep road to Linguaglossa.

The Messina 'tagentiale'

Heading for Etna wine

The towns near Etna tend to have basalt cobbled streets

Linguaglossa has volcanic rock gateways, just for good measure.
When we came to look at the roué on the map later, this made no sense at all, as there was a more direct main road south from the coast near Milazzo, perhaps 50 miles shorter. No matter, the route we took had great views, both along the coast and of the volcano itself, steaming away quietly into the blue sky. At over 10,000 feet, but only about 12 miles from the coast it really is quite a sight.
Not everyday you get a view of a volcano from the windscreen
We had read about Etna Wine in a number of blogs, and it does live up to the positive reviews. It has great facilities, friendly owners, and even friendlier owners' dogs! The setting is stunning, it manages to be both wild and bucolic. The old wine farm has a lovely set of buildings.

The camperstopat Etna wine is directly in front of the old farm buildings.

The wine too is good, the volcanic soil give it a unique flinty edge. At around 7 euros per bottle maybe a bit pricey, but I guess they are trading on its relative rarity and unique terroir.

We arrived towards the end of a lovely afternoon, so we took loads of photos.

Under the volcano

The guy in the cap ranted insanely into his mobile phone for about an hour....a bit odd.

We had the place to ourselves, again.
The evening light on the vineyards looked lovely, and twilight with Etna in the background we took lots more photos.

Evening sunlight on russet vines

I love the way evening light falls on the volcanic hills, making them crinkly like an elephant's hide.

The nearby village of Passopisciaro across the vineyards

Sunset over Etna

Looks harmless, gently smoking away, until , boom!
We woke to a crisp autumn morning.... so we both grabbed our cameras...

Maybe umbrella pines are my favourite tree.

Archetypal Italy - Ape and ancient well with leaky bucket.

Fabulous setting - a really great stop-over.

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