Hire a car from Maggiore and head off to discover Catania. Also known as the Black Pearl of the Ionian Sea, Catania stands on a spectacular strip of rocky coastline sculpted in dark volcanic basalt. It’s a unique city: just a few kilometres to the north is Mount Etna, which at 3300 m is the highest active volcano in Europe. To the south, there are beaches to rival those of the Caribbean. With your Maggiore hire car you can stop off at one of the golden beaches along the rocky coastline which is more than 20 km long. For a unique experience, visit La Playa and sunbathe with a view of Etna! Catania is full of magnificent buildings with thousands of years of history, and is a Unesco World Heritage Site thanks to its Baroque style. Don’t miss out on a trip to the Cathedral, which is home to the remains of Sant’Agata, the city’s patron saint, or the Elephant Fountain in Piazza Duomo, a Roman lava sculpture. Discover the great tradition of the city’s historic fish market, the Pescheria, where you can sample local delicacies such as panelli (chickpea fritters), arancini, focaccia with ricotta and granita served with cream, especially the fragrant jasmine or scursunera varieties. Catania is a spectacular city, and behind the wheel of your Maggiore hire car, you’ll also be able to visit the beautiful outlying areas such as Acicastello, Acireale, Acitrezza and Taormina. Nature lovers can plan a trip to Etna: covered in hazelnut, almond, pistacchio, beech and pine trees and with varied wildlife, a visit to the volcano is a fantastic experience. Behind the wheel of your Maggiore hire car, you can also get to the railway station Stazione Partenza Funivia (Nicolosi Nord/Etna Sud – Rifugio Sapienza). From there, you can take a cable car up to an altitude of 2500 m before continuing on special off-road vehicles (run by Funivia dell’Etna) towards the safe crater zone (weather permitting). Before planning your trip to the summit of Etna, check the conditions on funiviaetna.com.
In your hire car, it’s just a half-hour drive from Catania to Castello degli Schiavi in the village of Fiumefreddo: this was the set for Francis Ford Coppola’s famous film “The Godfather” and is the location for the scenes set in Corleone.