Mount Etna is arguably one of the most famous volcanoes of Europe. It stands on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Province of Catania, between Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano of the old continent with its 3,329 meters.
Ancient Greeks said that the forges of Hephaestus – the mighty god of blacksmiths – were located underneath the mountain. Since no one has ever been there, let’s jut say, that Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The periodic eruptions have been well documented through history, from the tales of Pindar to the modern day. “A’ Muntagna” (“the mountain” in local dialect) has always dominated the lives of those who live in its shadow: Its rage could bring destruction, but the volcano also enriches the soil, making the lower slopes and the surrounding plains some of the most fertile regions in Sicily, that spawn vast plains of vineyards and citrus plantations.
Recent eruptions have been spectacular and less destructive in their nature, thanks to the wisdom of centuries, people keep their distance from the mountain, building their homes far enough from the volcano. Mount Etna and its surrounding areas were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2013. Hiking on Mount Etna is an experience you’ll never forget – though you will get much more from it if you take advantage of the knowledge of a qualified guide.
Discover Sicily, visit the home of Hephaestus and give a toast to Dionysus (or Bacchus) for the delicious wines Mount Etna gives us. Rent a Car in Sicily will help you find the best rental vehicles and accommodations on your travels.