Earth : Europe : Italy : Sicily : Messina (province) : Giardini Naxos
By car Sicily is traversed by a number of main motorways that run between major cities. From Palermo, take the Palermo - Catania motorway, then the Catania - Messina motorway, exit at "Giardini-Naxos". The main street (runs north-south) is SS 114.
By train Giardini-Naxos has a railway station that appears as "Taormina - Giardini - Naxos".
By air The nearest airport is Catania airport, "Catania-Fontano-Rossa", 40 km away. Upon arrival, take a bus toward Giardini-Naxos, arrive at the Recanati bus station.
The city is small enough to explore on foot, but those who need to get somewhere quick should phone a taxi or rent a car.
Taormina is the obvious destination for those staying in Giardini-Naxos, tantalizingly placed on the side of a hill to the north. It is in walking distance, but those unsuited for climbing many sets of stairs would do better to take the bus (€1, €2.50 return) which departs from the Recanati bus station. Another bus runs from Taormina further up the hill to Castelmola, which is also worth a visit. Down the hill is the beautiful Isolabella, a small island which juts out from the coast and is usually bridged by a strip of beach, depending on the tide.
In the other direction, Mount Etna dominates the skyline on clear days. An active volcano, Mount Etna has a summit that glows red in the night from magma eruption. Excursions depart from the Recanati bus station with the company SAT. Guides are necessary to get right up to the lava flow, but those who want to explore on their own can take a line that circumvents the mountain.
To the north is the beautiful Alcantara Gorge, a canyon formed by lava flow that houses a river with freezing water (even in the summer). Wading boots are available for €5.
Novara di Sicilia - Located in the provence of Messina on the northern side of Mt. Etna, this picturesque medieval town is nestled in the mountains overlooking ancient Tyndaris and Abacaenum. It is the archetype of a typical medieval town, with its friendly and accommodating people who speak a distinctive dialect.
Also nearby, in the harbor town of Riposto, there is a fish market where Sicilian caricatures hawk seafood freshly caught just off the shore. Check the prices, the seafront stands tend to be more expensive than the vendors who are hidden along the sides. The market is close to the main square, faced by a large church.