A MUNTAGNA ETNA - SICILY

06.05.2020

 

Introduction to a Lunar journey...  

 

The highest volcano in Europe impresses by its aspect ( more than 3350 meters high ), its colors, scents, vibrations and quakes but also its legends and the superstitions.

In Catane, people are caution although they admire it. Planes avoid it, adapting to the winds countering its peaks.

The volcano offers an exceptional panorama, the Mediterranean Sea at his foot. On early mornings it usually clearly reveals itself. Through the day, its smoke clouds in contact with the air create bigger and bigger dense clouds, almost like it wanted to fade.

Sicilians call it « a`muntagna », the mountain. So high that on a clear sky, you can see it from Syracuse ( around 100km in the south) or Caltanissetta in Sicily’s center ( more than 150km away ).

 

The mountain is inhabited up to about 1000 meters. Beyond, and to its highest point, it is only accessible for excursions, hikes or winter sports. Until April, it is indeed possible to ski in the morning and bathe in the afternoon on its shores, from the first heat of spring.

Summer remains the most pleasant season to explore in order to enjoy the panorama and the warm temperatures.

The mountain has a thousand stories to tell, after undergoing many transformations through spectacular myth making eruptions. The surrounding urban architecture also draws its inspirations from the mount and influences a new generation of designers such as Made a Mano.

The Etna possesses numerous assets including it extremely fertile land which gives birth to succulent wines (the Etna DOC), citruses (oranges, lemons, grapefruits), honey ( rom Zafferana Etnea), pistachios (from Bronte), prickly pears

 

As any active volcano, it also brings a list of constraints such as mountain climate, ashes, lava flows, road and air traffic closures even the evacuation of the population.

The surveillance is constant since Mother Nature is here to stay.

For an optimal discovery of the volcano, explore it alongside professionals (it is mandatory to be accompanied by an official guide to reach the main crater).

The Etna and its stories deserves to be related and respected. The Etna Finder agency and its passionate and multilingual team offers many excursions formulas half or full day often as a small group.

Staying on the Volcano’s sides in a must for every trip to Sicily. In Catane and Taormina multiple accommodations from agriturismo to the most beautiful palaces, from chain establishments to boutique hotels.

You know that Marcellooo particularly loves the last option and chose the Zash Hotel. To experience a culinary, modern and minimalistic stay at the foot of the « muntagna ».

Other beautiful options (obviously approved):

 

 

Please read this wonderful review from Alexandre Dumas, dans Le speronare, 1842.

Here in french version:

Pendant trois quarts d'heure, le spectacle ne fît que gagner en magnificence. Rien n'est comparable à ce qu'on voit du haut de l'Etna. La Calabre, depuis le Pizzo jusqu'au cap delle Armi, le détroit depuis Scylla jusqu'à Reggio, la mer de Tyrrhène et la mer d'Ionie; à gauche, les îles éoliennes qui semblent à portée de la main; à droite, Malte, qui flotte à l'horizon comme un léger brouillard; autour de soi, la Sicile tout entière, vue à vol d'oiseau, avec son rivage dentelé de caps, de promontoires, de ports, de criques et de rades; ses quinze villes, ses trois cents villages; ses montagnes qui semblent des collines; ses vallées, qu'on croirait des sillons de charrues; ses fleuves, qui paraissent des fils d'argent, comme pendant l'automne il en descend du ciel sur l'herbe des prairies; enfin, le cratère immense, mugissant, plein de flammes et de fumée; sur sa tête le ciel, sous ses pieds l'enfer; un tel spectacle nous fit tout oublier, fatigues, danger, souffrance. Jamais je n'avais vu Dieu de si près, et par conséquent si grand. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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