These half (4 hours) and full day (8.5 to 9 hour) tours bring you to Toarmina, where you'll have lunch, the chance to stroll about Corso Umberto and shop, see the remnants of a 3rd century BC Greek theatre, and tour the Silvestri Spent Craters. You get a good view of Mt. Etna while viewing the Greek theatre, and the villages and countryside while you travel back and forth will include mountainous terrain and be stunning. Lunch is typically included.
Price: Adults expect to pay from $79 to $269, depending upon tour length and agenda.
Booking Advice: These cruise line shore excursions are rated as moderate to difficult in terms of physical exercise due to the walking involved. If you just want to see Mt. Etna, for at least 4 persons in a group for an 8 hour tour, you can tours online at http://www.volcanotrek.com/etna_caves_excursions.htm. Lunch cost may not be included, but otherwise these tours at 89 Euros (about 126 USD) per person cost about the same as the lower priced full day cruise line excursions.
Half day (4 hour) tours of Messina take you through main city streets (Viale San Martino, Cairol Dsquare, and Via Tommaso Cannizzaro), and you'll visit the Piazza del Duomo before touring the nearby 12th century cathedral. You'll see Neptune's statue. Another highlight is the world's largest astronomical clock, which is housed in the cathedral's bell tower. Although modern day Messina has been rebuilt over the last 100 years since a devastating earthquake, the city's history is interwoven in Greek mythology.
Price: Adults expect to pay from $52 to $59 through the cruise lines.
Booking Advice: These cruise line tours are but one way to see Messina, and tend to range from easy to moderate in terms of physical difficulty. Another alternative at just about half the cost are city Hop On/Off Bus Tours, which can be booked at http://www.messinatours.com/?event=offer.detail&offerId=13463
Mt. Etna Wine Tasting Tours
The lava from Mt. Etna over time has enriched the soil, and helps assure that the wine produced from these vineyards is exceptional. After visiting Taormina with typically time enough to walk about & shop on Corso Umberto and to see the 3rd century Greek theatre, your coach winds you about Mt. Etna where you'll pass (and perhaps visit) a village. You then visit a winery, learn about their particular wines, and have a taste or 2 before returning.
Price: Adults expect to pay from $80 to $100, depending upon tour length and agenda.
Booking Advice: Because of the walking involved, these tours are rated as moderate with respect to physical exertion. Admission fees and lunch may not be included, however, cruise line prices appear to be competitive.
The half day (4.5 hour) tours include the one hour drive to Tindari, and a quarter mile walk up to the cathedral square where you'll have an unquestionably splendid view. You then visit the cathedral, which houses the famed Black Madonna. Then, you'll visit the archaeological park, where you'll see columns, an amphitheater, and the ruins of houses of the Romans who founded the town.
Price: Adults expect to pay around $50.
Booking Advice: The quarter of a mile walk UP to the cathedral square is why this tour is rated as physically arduous. Cruise line prices appear to be competitive with online third party vendors.
Any aficionado of the “Godfather” movies who is also visiting Italy may enjoy this tour. A coach takes you to Savoca, where you'll see Bar Vitelli's private collection of photos taken during the filming of “Godfather II.” Some time will be allocated for strolling main street of this town before visiting a village at Forza d' Agro. From a vantage point in this town, you'll see the Castle of Capos Sant' Alessio, where “Godfather III” scenes were shot. You'll also see the Baroque Chiesa Madre Church.
Price: Adults expect to pay around $50 for half day (4.5 hour) tours.
Booking Advice: The numerous stairs and walking on uneven surfaces are why this trip is rated as physically difficult.