History and legend

Etna innevato

Mount Etna is a popular tourist destination suitable for every season ,whether you like to visit in the summer,to enjoy the mountain away from the heat,whether you want to spend a day on the snow and enjoy a local speciality in front a fire place in a cozy place.

The volcano etna has ancient origins dating back about 600,000 years ago and it's formation is due to a sequence of submarine eruptions of basaltic lava that began to form the first volcanic cones.

It's height varies always due to the material that pile up on top of the crater during the repeated eruptions,and currently reaches approximately 3,340 mt above sea level.

The various eruption during the years have changed the landscape of the surroundings villages and putting at risk and in some cases even damaging some tourist facilities and old rustic buildings.

Some ancient legend tell that Aeolus ,the King of winds ,imprisoned them under the volcano ,whilst others argue that " volcano",the god of fire ,had his forge under the volcano and another linked to the Cyclopes says that the giant of Greek mythology would have produce just under Etna, the arrows used by Zeus" King of Olympus" and God of thunder as weapons.

Inside mount Etna you can find different varieties of flora and fauna,urban landscapes interspersed with thick forest that retain various botanical species

What to visit around Etna

The landscapes and places not to be missed

Etna with it's unspoiled and exciting landscapes it's one of the places not to miss in the wonderful land of Sicily.

Turisti sull'Etna

Etna's natural park is formed by a huge territory and is divided in to four fronts:

  • The southern side,dencely populated;
  • The western side mostly untouched and infertile;
  • The eastern side with a unique volcanic landscape of the Bove's valley;
  • The northern side characterized by woods of oaks,beeches and birchs.

From it's 3,340 of height mount Etna dominates Sicily,the seas that surround it and the Calabria Region and offers breathtaking views that ranging from the typical landscapes of mountains,snow covered craters ,turquoise beaches of the jonian coast.

To reach the first area to visit ,you have to get to the outside area of Rifugio Sapienza,at an altitude of 1,900 mt from where you can admire the Silvestri 's craters ,reachable by car from the southern side through Zafferana etnea and Nicolosi.The craters where formed by the eruptions of 1892 and can be able to be visited by foot , the most skilled can even get up to the top of the craters. Just beside the Silvestri's crater you will have the chance to taste different types of flavoured honey of local production and for the souvenir's lovers there are many charming wooden stalls where you can buy items and jewelry made of lava.


The other vent of the top of the volcano are: Bocca Nuova and Voraggine,which together make the central,the north east and south east craters. And ,on the volcano's slopes have formed many more cones "extraneous"during eruption from the sides.

In the park there are more than 200 lava caves ,even in ancient time they were used by men as burial side as shelter or as a place as accumulation of snow,the only source of refreshment in the summer. The most important are: The Grotta dei Lamponi, the Tre Livelli, the Gelo, the Palombe.

The Bove's valley became famous by the long eruption occurred on the night of 13/14 december 1991 and lasted until the spring of 1993, at an altitude of about 2,400 mt.
Beside this natural attraction there is also the Bank and the path of the Germoplasma, designed for the characterization and conservation of the genetic Etnian plant . The Bank hosts biological and agricultural species (vineyard,tree farm,plant for forest interest),and also aromatic and medicinal species found in the Etna area.
The path is 1,153 mt long and the characteristic of this amazing place is the presence of appropriate explanatory plates of environmental interpretation for visually unpaired and blind,installed with the help of Braille printing of Catania. Etna in eruzione

The most adventurous tourist can take the cable car and get to authorized area of the volcano, or they can opt for an off road excursion during the eruption ,to admire the phenomenon of hot lava flows.
It was the lava eruption of october 2002 that destroyed the shelter and the Etna north's ski facilities in (Piano provenzano ),near Linguaglossa.

Flora and fauna of the Etna's park

A walk between protected species and rare plant.

The Etna 's park not only amaze you for it's spectacular eruptions and fountains of lava,but also for it's unique environment rich in aroma ,flowers and colours.
Among the protected species in the area you can still find the porcupine,fox,wild cat,rabbit ,hare,weasel,hedgehog,dormice and various species of mice and bat. Their survival is continuously threatened by wild deforestation and the opening of new roads that represent a great threat to the local wild life.For the animal 's lover, the park is a land to explore in search of prey such as the hawk, kestrel,peregrine falcon and golden eagle, snake and lizard ,colourful insects important to maintain the ecological balance of the area.

Etna 's Flavours and typical products

Enjoy the authentic taste of the genuine products of the mountain

Thanks to the work of terracing ,the slopes of the volcano are cultivated with vineyard, olive groves,tree farm,pistachios and hazelnuts plantation with care to organic farming by local producers. In the area are produced some protected species of apples ( " cola" ," gelato" and " cola gelato" small ,yellow and fragrante ) and autumn pears as the "ucciardona"or the " spinella "used in traditional cooking.Some wines produced from grapes grown in the district of mount Etna have received in the past yeas the DOC " Etna " ( Bianco Superiore ,Bianco ,Rosso e Rosato). Etna 's park authority is aiming to the integration of environmental protection and economic development activities to protect and promote the viticulture of Mount Etna.



Sentiero del germoplasma Mela dell'Etna

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