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Etna Volcano

Etna Volcano is part of the landscape and nature in Sicily. [pullquote_left]See our Etna Volcano offer for excursions >[/pullquote_left]The poet Sciascia called it “a huge house cat that snores quietly and occasionally wakes up.” For walkers and nature lovers, Etna offers surprises that at the snow combines fire and vegetation. The biggest volcano in Europe is born only a couple of million years ago. The lava flows, once past several years by the eruptions which forced downstream, become a very fertile ground. Under the thousand meters below are cultivated almond trees, olive trees, grapevines, citrus and vegetables.

At a height of 3300 metres above sea level and surrounded by approximately 58000 hectares of natural park with ancient trees Etna offers to its visitors many wonderful excursions both in summer and winter, verified by the thousands of tourists who visit every year. One of the most beautiful destinations is to follow the walks leading from Zafferana to the ‘Valley of the Ox’ – a natural hollow, changed by the eruptions of 1992. One excursion not be missed is that to the larger craters, reachable on foot from Rifugio Sapienza, Rifugio Citelli and from Piano Provenzana.

In 2002 Rifugio Sapienza which is also a well-known Sicilian ski resort was wiped out by an eruption. Now completely restructured and renovated, it provides walking excursions, skiing and much more. One of the lesser known spectacles that Etna has given us are the numerous lava caves naturally formed over a hundred years of eruptions in succession. During the winter it is possible to snow on Etna even if there aren’t a lot of ski lifts, there is the possibility of cross-country skiing or mountaineering. The most popular excursion of all the tourists who come to visit Etna is the ascent to the top craters at around 2900 metres above sea level, this point can be reached via a cable way and Jeep specially prepared to cover the hard lava terrain.

The Etna district itself is within the depression of Alcantara to the north, and the river Simeto to the west and south. The fascinating landscape etneo in which overlapped with tenacity the works of man, both in cultivation and permanent head office, constantly challenged by the relentless activity that characterizes the multiplicity of its aspect. Infact up to 500 mt. of altitude the area of Piedimonte etneo is marked by the spring waters, by the high concentration of settlements, because of the dense vegetation for agricultural use. Higher the thinner area, give space to the grapevine cultivations and the Mediterranean scrub that goes to a height of 1300 meters above sea level. Etna for its significant natural meaning and the exceptional landscape value, it has been declared as National Park.