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Fire and ice: Strap on your snow shoes and explore Mount Etna

There is one vital ingredient to every snowshoeing trip. And that's snow. Pulling back the curtains of my hotel room window, I gazed out at the sheer slopes of Mount Etna. There wasn't a flake to be seen. Did Luca, my guide, have some bad news? "Don't worry," he said, while loading our snowshoes into the van.

48 Hours: Catania

Even in winter, this Sicilian city charms with colourful festivities, delicious food and dramatic scenery, says Duncan Garwood.

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Traveller's Guide: Sicily

In the second of a six-part series produced in association with Footprint Travel Guides, <b>Mary-Ann Gallagher</b> celebrates an epic island

Cycling: Contador takes the lead on Mount Etna

Alberto Contador powered to his first stage victory of this year's Giro d'Italia yesterday to take overall control of the race. The Spaniard, the 2008 Giro winner, completed the ninth stage in four hours, 54 minutes and eight seconds after an impressive attack up to the finish on Mount Etna in Sicily.

Ricotta with honey and balsamico

Years ago in Sicily I experienced freshly made ricotta and I have remembered its unique flavour ever since. So during our recent trip to Modena, we made time to visit Matteo Panini who produces 12 wheels of cheese a day from his organic herd of cattle, and were lucky enough to try his ricotta, which is made from the whey after the Parmesan has been made – and it evoked the buttery, creamy memory of that fresh ricotta all those years ago.