The volcano, Etna, is the symbol of Sicily and the biggest volcano in Europe. Tourists from all over the world come to Sicily to visit it and walk on its top. From there, I let you imagine the panorama and the sense of infinitive you can feel.
We stayed in Catania for two days, hosted by cool people we met there, that suggested we go for a tour along one of the many routes to visit the volcano. Even if there are buses and services going up to the craters, we had the luck of departing with locals and gambling on this majesty.
We went with the car until Rifugio Sapienza and we took the route of Schiena dell’Asino on the slope of Nicolosi, a nice village on Etna’s feet.
From a small forest, we noticed that little by little the landscape was changing, from green to yellow, with lots of Astragalus (a spiny plant, so be careful and wear high socks!). This plant is the only one growing in the magma and it’s really interesting, but a little pesky.
We walked for a couple of hours climbing rocks, that become more and more black and red, as they are composed from lapillus of the past eruptions. We arrived to the Valle deal Bove, a valley 5 per 8 km of dark magma. It is there that the lava climbs down when Etna wants to show its natural strength. And from there, hidden by the clouds and from its smoke of welcome, Etna told us that it was there, and nothing and nobody could stop it. I felt small, on the top of the mountain, even if I was so elevated and so free.
I suggest don’t miss visiting Etna and coming to Sicily. And I suggest to do it with somebody that knows how to go without a guide. More or less everybody in Catania does, so don’t be shy and ask! Locals are really available and nice!
Photo Credits: Rebecca Zaccarini