Day 6 – Etna
“a Muntagna” – “the Mountain”: Trekking on Etna – open spaces and magical caves
Etna is the true natural symbol of Sicily. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013, “a Muntagna” rises up before us in all its majesty, in a breath-taking spectacle for the visitor. Sometimes quiet and snow-covered, at other times tumultuous and roaring, this mountain regales the visitor with stunning views, from wherever you look at it.
Amongst the most violent eruptions of the last few decades, the eruption of 2002 certainly made a massive impact on the land around Mongibello – another name for Etna. Departing from our refuge in the direction of Piano Provenzana (almost 1800 m above sea level) in the company of our expert guide, we will be able to appreciate the destructive power of that eruption, which has entered the history books. As we go round the fissure which was created, it will be possible to see the stretch of lava flow and what little remains of the centuries-old Ragabo pinewood.
Walking on these paths, ripped apart by tremors, and among the black lava flows is in itself a particular experience, but smells and sounds, if you are awake to them, also testify to the volcano’s presence. It is a presence which is imposing and majestic, which welcomes but also demands respect.
Our trek continues towards the Grotta dei Lamponi (Raspberry Cave). With its length of 700 m, this cave is the longest lava flow tunnel on Etna. With its floor of lava, it is admired for its unusual formations, like the so-called “dog’s teeth” (stalactites of re-melted magma).
Return to the Refuge, and dinner.
Difference in altitudes: