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Etna

Villas in Sicily near Etna

EtnaIf the typical light-coloured limestone marking Sicilian landscapes is suddenly replaced by black lava blocks, you will know you are in the surroundings of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. It is surrounded by Simeto River to the south, Alcantara River to the north and a stretch of Ionian coast between Riposto and Catania.. Therefore, while driving, you will notice that the typical coastal vegetation changes into a mountain one. Visitors will move from fish to mushrooms and chestnuts, from the sea to the snows, from water sports to Nordic sports.

Mount Etna is 3346m high and is still active. Its perimeter measures 250 km It rose about 500,000 years ago from the build-up of materials (fragments, dust, lava) expelled by the centre of the earth. At the present day, it has got four mouths on top (Bocca Nuova, Centrale, Sud-est, Nord-est) and a number of vents on the slopes.

The locals call it “u Mungibeddu” (lovely mountain) or simply “a Montagna”, to emphasize how Mount Etna dominates the surroundings with its awe-inspiring beauty. Its presence has influenced both the territory and human activities over the centuries. The grounds covered with lava flows appear like a desert, but in the long run lava turns out to be an outstanding fertilizer, changing the arid soil into a verdant garden. Hence the contrasting landscapes: you may find desolate areas right next to green spots populated by varieties of animals and plants. This outstanding variety of flora and fauna has been safeguarded since 1987, after the establishment of Etna Natural Park. It extends from the volcano top to the lower slopes. Inside the park, visitors will be encouraged to undertake a variety of excursions and discover different paths leading up to the peak, with the help of professional guides. In winter, you can live the breathtaking experience of skiing on the “belly” of the volcano, enjoying the view over Catania and the sea.

The volcano has always exerted a strong influence on “its” people. Its millennial presence, constantly forcing people to cope with the danger of impending eruptions and simultaneously giving wealth and fertility, encourages a very special relationship. The locals look at the Volcano with a variety of feelings, merging love and hate, awe and respect.

Villas in Sicily near Etna

Etna eruption

Aerial shot of the east side of Mt. Etna

Etna in Summer

Skiing on Etna

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