Vulcano ETNA

Etna, or “Mungibeddu” (dialect), is with its 3323 metres, the highest active volcano in Europe. Thanks to the spectacular volcanic activity has been protagonist of myths and legends since ancient times. It is an unique natural environment for its beauty, it was established Regional Park in 1987 and it is a candidate to become Unesco world heritage. In Sicily, Mount Etna just called the Mountain. For locals, it is a kind of deity, which intentions are incomprehensible. Throughout its existence, Etna erupted about 200 times. The most destructive eruption was the one, after which the city of Catania was completely reconstructed with wonderful baroque and exotic color of the walls. The basic material for the rebuilding of the city was tuff. For the inhabitants of Sicily Etna doesn’t represent any danger. On the contrary, they are grateful to volcano for the fertile land in its vicinity. Etna’s vineyards are famous and the best in Sicily. And the towns located at the foot of the volcano are among the most visited. The whole area around Mount Etna is a natural reserve. Today you can visit the volcano and even get to the crater. It is recommended to hire a professional guide, as there are many craters on the slopes of Etna: inactive, semi-active and active periodically. In addition, on the top it is possible strong wind, rain, fog.
There are three common routes to climb the Mount Etna: the south side (Etna Sud): the base Rifugio Sapienza (1900 meters) can be reached in a shuttle bus from Catania (runs once a day). From base Rifugio Sapienza to La Montagnola (2500 meters) you can reach taking the cable car. Then on foot or by ATV. The side East through the village of Zafferana Etnea, which takes to the base of Rifugio Sapienza. The side North (Etna Nord) runs through the towns of Piedimonte Etneo, Lingvaglossa and leads to the base of Piano Provenzano.
Winter sports enthusiasts will appreciate the slalom and downhill skiing on Etna. Tourists having tried skiing on Etna, describe their feeling in superlatives. On a clear day from the slopes of Mount Etna you can see the sea, while from the depths of the top comes out the gas jet and steam. On Etna has two ski resorts. On the southern slope is the Rifugio Sapienzaб on the north – the town Linguaglossa. Both resorts have at their disposal specilized hotels, instructors and rental ski equipment . Snow quality is suitable for snowboarding and cross-country skiing.

Undertake the ascent to the volcano, through the different trails, stroll through vineyards, orchards, pistachio, hazelnut groves, fields of broom and then, near the craters, if the volcanic activity allows, you can discover “lunar landscape” unique and unforgettable! Depending on the altitude the rich fauna includes specimens of wild cat (species in extinction in Sicily), foxes, Golden Eagles, hawks, buzzards, peregrine falcons and many other varieties of birds whose beauty will involve you in an unforgettable experience. Different sides to visit, all share by a charming landscape, protected by a natural park, which anyone in Sicily cannot miss visiting. Wonderful are its slopes which allow access to the historical centres. Historic cities rich in interesting cultural aspects and costume, it can represent the starting point for wonderful excursions during all seasons: Nicolosi, the door of Etna, because it represents one of the most important access points of the volcano and it is the main attraction for winter sports; Zafferana, famous for being rich in its natural beauty and tourist, but mostly for the “Ottobrata” Festival of typical products of Etna; Milo, the highest village from which you can admire an unique panorama; Linguaglossa, ski-lifts excellent starting point of Piano ProvenzanoCastiglione di Sicilia, fascinating for its fortified castle; Randazzo, the medieval black Town full of great artistic interest, characterized by volcanic lava stone buildings; Bronte, which pistachio is an exceptional quality, it is its emblem and strength.

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