Giarre is located at the foot of Etna on the east side, just back from the seafront by a few kilometres and midway between Catania and Taormina. It isn't a very old city; around three centuries which is relatively new for an Italian city! There is an interesting historical centre with links to the city's cathedral.
The cathedral building began in 1794 and in little more than 20 years, so did the construction of the two four square church towers that adorn the facade also begin. Along via Callipoli , where the cathedral is located, and Corso Italia - the two roads which form the towns main intersection, there are some magnificent 18th and 19th Century aristocratic mansions.
Giarre is closely linked to Risposto with its natural harbour, known in-fact as Mount Etna harbour. You would struggle to notice the division between these two towns as they kind of merge into one another. The town has been barely effected by tourism, and therefore remains authentic. It's a good base if you want to stay somewhere urban, but yet not too busy. There is no shortage of shops and restaurants here, yet you are a stones throw from the exciting hinterland that leads up to Etna if you want to explore nature. By staying in Giarre you can be close enough to the best sights in Sicily and Sicilian hospitality, yet at the same time avoiding the more over-run tourist cities that otherwise characterise many towns along the island's east coast, including Taormina, Taormina and Giardini Naxos. There is a central train station which provides good links around the island and for example to the aformentioned Catania and Taormina on either side.
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