Mount Etna: “the volcano on Sicily Cyclops Riviera”
Distance from Hotel Borgo Pantano: 109 km (about 1 hour 51 min)
Mount Etna is a Sicilian originated in the Quaternary volcanic complex and still active. With the different eruptions connected with it has changed the landscape incessantly, often threatening the different human communities that over the millennia have settled around it. Its surface is characterized by a rich variety of environments that alternates cityscapes, dense forests that conserve different plant species endemic to desolate areas covered in volcanic rock and snow periodically subject to the highest shares. The territory of the volcano is divided into different environments morphology and typology. Grown up to a thousand meters s.l.m. on slopes and highly urbanized east and south looks wild and unforgiving especially from the west side where a thousand meters then dominated by “skiing”, especially in the area of Bronte. Shortly urbanized, but look more sweet with the dominance of the north side of the woods above Linguaglossa. The east side of Mount Etna is dominated looking ominous of Valle del Bove on the margins of which climb up the thick woods. Above 1000 m, in winter, there is snow often lasts almost until summer. This can be reached easily from the south and north sides. As a result of the Mount Etna were also two ski resorts whose particularity is to be able to ski on the snow could observe the sea. From the South of the historic Rifugio Sapienza, in the territory of Nicolosi, you can admire the gulf of Catania and the Simeto valley. In the slopes to the north, those of Piano Provenzana territory’s office, in the scenario that opens out before Taormina and includes the coasts of Calabria. Nicolosi tracks were damaged by the summer of 2001, when a lava flow destroyed the station of the cable car and the service center through a few meters from the same “Rifugio Sapienza”. The slopes of Piano Provenzana have been affected by the casting of Autumn of 2002.
In the seventies of the twentieth century the slopes of the south, Nicolosi, were the protagonists of the “Three-day International of the Mount Etna Alpine ski race” that saw the start of the big names in skiing at the end of the races of the World Cup. Then, over the years and with the advent of professionalism exasperated in all sports, this race has had no place.
Mount Etna is also the destination of uninterrupted visits of tourists interested in the volcano and its manifestations by virtue of the fact that it is one of the few active volcanoes in the world to be within reach of anyone having to support all types of media to reach . In fact there are also specialized guides and off-road vehicles that safely lead up to the summit craters. The district has characteristics that make the land good for agricultural production, thanks to the special fertility of volcanic debris. The built-up area reaches 1000 m s.l.m. while the agricultural land and forests are far above 1500 meters. Large parts of its slopes are included in the homonymous nature park that is popular with tourists who love nature and a healthy relaxation. The surface of the Mount Etna is covered by the provincial road SP92, which go up to the mountain generates about 20km of hairpin bends. This infrastructure does not allow yet to reach the top by car, but stops on a belvedere with adjoining a historic retreat served by cable cars to reach the top.