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The rings of Mount Etna

In the last few days, Mount Etna has once again offered us a magnificent spectacle. This time it is not lava fountains or lava flows, but rings of gas that attract photographers and tourists. Since the beginning of April 2024, Mount Etna has been puffing one ring after another as if it were smoking a pipe. How are the rings of Mount Etna formed?...
The pine processionary moth: a dangerous invasion on Mount Etna

The pine processionary moth: a dangerous invasion on Mount Etna

If you are on Mount Etna in winter, you will notice numerous white, drop-shaped formations up to 30 cm in size on the pine trees. The nests, spun from thin white threads, sometimes cover the whole tree in dozens. These are the nests of the pine processionary moth ("la processionaria" in Italian). This butterfly from the moth family has become a...

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Life in the shadow of the volcano

Life in the shadow of the volcano

I have been living in Sicily, in the province of Catania, at the foot of Mount Etna, for more than 40 years now. The volcano has characterised my life here from the very beginning. I will now tell you - from the perspective of an almost real Sicilian - about life in the shadow of the volcano, about life with Mamma Etna, as the Sicilians call...

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From the sea to Mount Etna

From the sea to Mount Etna

Today we embark on a short journey from the sea to Mount Etna: from Riposto, also known as the harbour of Etna, we drive up to Piano Provenzana on the north side of Mount Etna, where the roads end and we can only continue on foot. This route takes just under an hour by car. Many of our tours start in Piano Provanzana. But there is already a lot...

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Spectacular lava fountains: Etna eruption 13.8.2023

Spectacular lava fountains: Etna eruption 13.8.2023

On the afternoon of 13 August 2023, the measuring instruments of the INGV (Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Catania) register the first signs of a new eruption of Mount Etna. Shortly afterwards, this begins with Strombolian activity. Strombolian activity is typical of the Stromboli volcano. It is characterised by the emission of lava in...

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Eruption of Mount Etna on 21 May 2023

Eruption of Mount Etna on 21 May 2023

After a series of earthquakes in the summit area and a sudden increase in volcanic tremor, the eruption of Mount Etna on 21 May 2023 was not long in coming. The protagonist of this eruption with lava fountains is once again the Southeast Crater. It has also produced two lava flows: one inside the Valle del Bove valley and a second, the main flow,...

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Places to visit near Catania: Aci Trezza

Places to visit near Catania: Aci Trezza

Aci Trezza is located just under 10 kilometres north of Catania on the so-called Cyclops Coast. Once a small fishing village, it is now a popular excursion destination. The small town of around 5,000 inhabitants has a picturesque harbour, and the Cyclops Islands, which are probably the main attraction, lie just off the coast. What to see in Aci...

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Lava and snow: when extremes meet

Lava and snow: when extremes meet

The particularly low temperatures at the beginning of February 2023 and intense precipitation on 9 and 10 February 2023 transformed Etna into an idyllic winter landscape with snowdrifts that were four metres high in places and posed considerable challenges for some mountain huts. If you visit Etna in winter, especially its snowier northern side,...

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The feast of St Agatha in Catania

The feast of St Agatha in Catania

On the first weekend in February, from 3 to 5 February 2024, the whole of Catania will once again be in a state of emergency: for three days, one of the biggest religious festivals in the world will be celebrated. The feast of St Agatha in Catania attracts millions of people who flood the streets in intense adoration of their city's patron saint,...

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Accidents on Mount Etna

Accidents on Mount Etna

To mark the occasion, here is another article on the topic of "How dangerous is Mount Etna?" - but this time not primarily with reference to volcanic eruptions, falling rocks, lava flows and sulphur mist. It's about solo endeavours, misguided adventurers, tragic-mysterious deaths; about people who had tragic accidents on Mount Etna. A night in...

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How dangerous is Etna?

How dangerous is Etna?

It is a mighty phenomenon. At around 3347 metres, it is the highest and most active volcano in Europe. It is constantly active, erupting almost every year. And yet it is densely populated: Catania, with over 300,000 inhabitants, lies at its feet, and countless villages stretch up its slopes. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to its peaks...

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Mount Etna in autumn

Mount Etna in autumn

Mount Etna is worth a visit all year round and offers a different sight every season. The north side in particular, where the barren, black lunar landscape alternates with forests, bushes and flowers, offers an ever-changing play of colours as the months change. In addition to bright colours, Mount Etna offers us perfect hiking weather in autumn....

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Lucky charms in Sicily & other fascinating symbols

Lucky charms in Sicily & other fascinating symbols

We would like to introduce you to some symbols that are frequently found in Sicily. They reflect the island's rich history, but their meaning and origins are often difficult to guess at first glance. They are often regarded as lucky charms in Sicily, but are also a nice souvenir from your holiday. Testa di moro (Moorish heads) Whether as a flower...

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Helicopter flight over Etna: simply breathtaking!

Helicopter flight over Etna: simply breathtaking!

A personal report A sightseeing flight over a volcano, by helicopter over summit craters and lava flows. This has always been my dream and now I have fulfilled it for myself - and my family: a helicopter flight over Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, with EtnaWay. Our tour starts early in the morning. Visibility is usually best at this...

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We discover the geological formations of Mount Etna

We discover the geological formations of Mount Etna

In addition to the 4 mighty main craters and the almost 300 lateral craters, Etna also harbours a number of other volcanic formations. We have already told you about some of them. In this article, you can find out even more about the geological formations of Mount Etna. Lava tunnel A lava tunnel is formed during an eruption when a crust forms on...

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Etna North – The 2002 Craters

Etna North – The 2002 Craters

A personal report Today we are doing the North Craters Tour with EtnaWay, a tour to the craters from 2002. Meeting point is at 9am in Piano Provenzana on the north side of Etna. Our guide from EtnaWay is already waiting for us at the car park. We meet the others from the group and get to know each other over breakfast. In typical Sicilian style,...

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The right equipment on Etna

The right equipment on Etna

Many people, including visitors who come from the Alps and often go hiking, underestimate Etna and the weather conditions. Even though Etna is very far south, it can be very cold. Also, the weather often changes very quickly because Etna is a single free-standing mountain and is not within a mountain range. We would therefore like to give you...

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The chestnuts of Mount Etna

The chestnuts of Mount Etna

On the eastern side of Etna (from the north-east to the south-east) there are - due to the special climate - large occurrences of sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa). The chestnuts of Mount Etna are edible, but are not commercially grown or collected, as most of them grow in the Etna Park and are therefore protected. In winter, people in Sicily...

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Experience Mount Etna live – a breathtaking natural spectacle!

Experience Mount Etna live – a breathtaking natural spectacle!

Since 13.5.2022, the south-eastern crater has been active again. At the foot of the cone, on its northern side, a fissure has opened. A lava flow has been pouring into the Valle del Bove, the huge valley on the eastern side of Etna. This is a subterminal eruption, i.e. an eruption of a main crater, but not at the very top (terminal eruption), but...

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Catania and the elephants

Catania and the elephants

At first glance, Sicily and Catania have nothing to do with elephants. Yet a red elephant is emblazoned on Catania's coat of arms and in the heart of the city in Cathedral Square (in front of Sant'Agata Cathedral), a black elephant with an obelisk on its back stands in the middle of a fountain - Catania's emblem. What is this all about? The coat...

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Where do the names of Etna’s craters come from?

Where do the names of Etna’s craters come from?

Mount Etna has not only 4 main craters, but also almost 300 lateral craters. Every hill we see in the vast Etna area is an extinct lateral crater. Lateral eruptions are so-called monogenetic eruptions, i.e. openings that are active only once and then are so firmly closed that they never erupt again. The main craters, on the other hand, are...

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Etna Current – 13.5.2022

Etna Current – 13.5.2022

The south-eastern crater does not come to rest: the currently highest and most active main crater of Etna provides spectacular images again on the evening of 13.5.2022. This time the activity does not start with strombolian activity. A lava flow is descending on the northern side of the Southeast Crater and has already reached the base of the...

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Sicily – Culinary Diversity from North to West

Sicily – Culinary Diversity from North to West

A round trip for all the senses Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea located in the southwest of Italy, is not only home to the highest active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna, but also has impressive cities to offer in addition to beautiful beaches. No matter which side of the island you are on, in each city you will find different...

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The plant diversity of Etna

The plant diversity of Etna

The Sicilian flora is characterized by many endemic species. They make up about 10% of the island's plant species. In this article we want to tell you about some of the special plants that grow on Etna. Because anyone who thinks Mount Etna is a barren, lifeless stone desert is wrong. Etna provides habitat for a variety of animals and plants and...

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The Valle del Bove

The Valle del Bove

The Valle del Bove (Valley of the Ox) is a huge valley about 5 km wide and about 7 km long (37 square kilometres in total) on the eastern side of Mount Etna, facing the sea. The rims of the valley are up to 1,000 metres high and some of them drop vertically. The formation of the Valle del Bove According to the latest research, this impressive...

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The formation of Sicily

The formation of Sicily

We already told you in an earlier article (Lava tubes of Etna I) how Mount Etna was formed. However, how did Sicily originate? Originally, there was sea on the site of what is now Sicily. Plate tectonics, or more precisely the fact that the African plate is sliding under the Eurasian plate (subduction), has caused the ground to rise. At first,...

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The 1991 – 1993 eruption

The 1991 – 1993 eruption

The eruption that kept Zafferana in suspense! This time we report in more detail on the eruption between 1991 and 1993, which scared the inhabitants of Zafferana Etnea - a small town on the eastern side of the volcano. The beginning of the eruption On December 14, 1991, fractures opened both to the north and to the south of the Southeast Crater....

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The flag of Sicily

The flag of Sicily

The flag of the (autonomous) region of Sicily (one of the 20 regions of Italy) features a decorated woman's head on a red and yellow background. This flag, as we know it today, dates back to the 13th century. But the history of this symbol is much older. The colours of the background (red and yellow) stand for the cities of Palermo and Corleone...

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Etna’s Summit Craters – Southeast Crater

Etna’s Summit Craters – Southeast Crater

Let us take a closer look at the scenario of the main protagonist of the last 50 years: the Southeast Crater. The birth of Southeast Crater in 1971 Let us start at the beginning: After a century of profound transformations and intense activity of the summit craters, on 5 April 1971, strong lateral activity gave way to a new phase characterised by...

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Legends about Etna

Legends about Etna

Etna has always fascinated people – as the source of great ruin and great fertility. There are therefore many legends and myths surrounding this volcano, from which we would like to give you a small extract today. The forge of Hephaestus Hephaestus is the Greek god of fire and blacksmithing. The Romans later gave him the name Vulcan, from which...

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Eruption of Etna October 2002 / January 2003

Eruption of Etna October 2002 / January 2003

In this article, we tell you about the 2002 eruption, an extraordinary event in which two eruptive systems are active at the same time, one on the south side and one on the north side of Etna. A little more than a year has passed since the spectacular eruption of 2001 and on 26 October 2002, the spectacle begins again. During the evening, some...

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The 2001 eruption of Etna

The 2001 eruption of Etna

Two eruptions in one: the 2001 eruption of Etna Today we tell you about the first eccentric outbreak that has been scientifically documented. In an eccentric eruption, the magma does not reach the top via the main vent, but seeks another path from the magma chamber to the surface. Since it has to break through hard lava rock from previous...

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The 1928 eruption

The 1928 eruption

Destruction and reconstruction of Mascali the last one that destroyed a town; the only recent lava flow that stopped a few hundred meters from the sea, at an altitude of 25 m above sea level; and one of the eruptive events that, together with that of 1669, had a stronger socio-economic impact in the history of Etna. The 1928 eruption is an...

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The Central Crater of Mount Etna

The Central Crater of Mount Etna

The Central Crater, probably formed during the great eruption of 1669 on the ruins of another pre-existing cone, consists of a 500 m diameter mouth at the centre of a 250 m high cone. Looking at Etna from the sea or from the coast, from the foot of its eastern flank, one can clearly see that this cone is in fact only the last, the youngest peak...

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A day on Etna

A day on Etna

Fascinating impressions on the highest active volcano in Europe Between sea and snow – 1800 metres above sea level, far away from city traffic and beach promenade and yet so close. In the year 2020, the Etna became my refuge from all the media reports about the corona virus. Here, where the world is still in order, high up on the Sartorius...

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Typical food in Eastern Sicily

Typical food in Eastern Sicily

Sicilian cuisine is the result of a mixture of different influences from the many cultures that inhabited the island over time. It's all in the mix What still characterises our dishes today is a heritage of culinary traditions from very different civilisations that have contributed to the creation of an absolutely rich gastronomy, an explosion of...

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Lava tubes of Etna II

Lava tubes of Etna II

Or: Why the Catanese invented ice cream. If you follow our blog closely, you already know how lava tunnels are created during a volcanic eruption. This time we want to tell you something about what it looks like inside these caves and what special things have already happened in some caves. Geological peculiarities Let's start at the end of the...

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The New Southeast Crater

The New Southeast Crater

The world's second most active volcano shows us its vehemence: in 2004, a new summit crater is formed which is already history by 2021. We could say that, just as the beginning of the activity in 1971 was characterised by a collapse on the eastern flank of the Central Crater, so the 2004 collapse on the eastern flank of the Southeast Crater...

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Etna’s Summit Craters – North-East Crater

Etna’s Summit Craters – North-East Crater

From 1 to 4 craters in only 100 years Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe, with a volcanic surface of 1250 square kilometres and a diameter of 45 km from east to west and as much as 65 km from north to south. The volcano has a unique and distinctive shape, not only because it shows some signs of its evolutionary phases from...

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Lava tubes of Etna I

Lava tubes of Etna I

Or: What Ulysses did on Mount Etna When visiting Etna you should not only take a hike to the countless craters and lava flows, but also go and see one of the approx. 190 lava tubes (these caves are scattered over the entire Etna so you can reach them easily on any tour). How lava tubes are formed These subterranean tunnels develop during an...

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Aci Trezza and Aci Castello – 2 coastal towns with flair

Aci Trezza and Aci Castello – 2 coastal towns with flair

Along the east coast of Sicily, at the foot of the highest active volcano in Europe, lies the so-called Cyclops Coast. There are several small fishing villages on this coast, such as Aci Trezza and Aci Castello. We are just a few kilometres north of the city of Catania, which is also known as the black daughter of Etna. It was given this name...

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Stromboli volcano: Lava and Malvasia

Stromboli volcano: Lava and Malvasia

In Sicily, there is not only the famous volcano Etna, but also the smaller Stromboli. Two wonderful active volcanoes, but with profound differences. Age: while Etna was born about 570.000 years ago, Stromboli is much younger, being only about 160.000 years. The heightof the two volcanoes also has a significant difference: while Etna dominates...

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East Etna from Riposto to Valle del Bove

East Etna from Riposto to Valle del Bove

The eastern side of Etna is the richest in landscapes and climates, and since the SouthEast Crater (one of Etna's 4 summit craters) began its activity in 1971, it is also the side that changes the most. Riposto: the start of the Etna East Route We leave from the sea, from Riposto, a small town that owes its name to the storage of barrels. In the...

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DOC wines of Etna

DOC wines of Etna

What could be better than a good glass of wine after a nice hike? Discover the DOC wines of Etna with us and find out what makes them so special! Each wine region offers its own unique places and special grape varieties. In Sicily, Etna with its 1000 faces invites you to hike, either high up on the summit craters in steep areas or through the...

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Round tour on the north side: from Serracozzo to the Sartorius craters

Round tour on the north side: from Serracozzo to the Sartorius craters

We visit a piece of paradise on the north-east side of Mount Etna. Besides craters, lava flows and grottos, we see countless fantastic formations created by our beloved Etna (if you want to experience the tour yourself, book our Etna North Tour). At 1740 m, at Rifugio Citelli, base no. 15 of the Parco dell'Etna, we enter a grove of beech, pine...

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Etna Nord from Linguaglossa to Pizzi Deneri

Etna Nord from Linguaglossa to Pizzi Deneri

Etna National Park, North side We start from the north area of the volcano along the man-made ring of the so called “wine road”.Linguaglossa is a small village situated in on the Etna Nord side. Well known for its production of Etna wines and typical Sicilian foods like hazelnut. From here we take the Mareneveprovincial road, the only access road...

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