Mount Etna

An extraordinary and powerful volcano, on the east coast of Sicily, 3,330m high. Its name probably comes from the ancient greek word “Aitho” (to burn) or form the Phoenician word “Attano” (furnace). Arabs used to call it Ǧabal Aṭma Ṣiqilliyya, meaning 'volcano' or 'Sicily's highest peak', and even nowadays, Mount Etna is referred to by the dialectal expressions 'a Muntagna' (the mountain) or Mongibello (from the Latin word 'mons' and the Arab word 'jebel', both meaning mountain).

Its area covers 1,570km2 on a 45km diameter and 180km perimeter: these figures make Mount Etna one of the biggest volcanoes in the world, and the tallest in Europe. Mount Etna is an active volcano and its eruptions have continuously changed the surrounding scenery: from urban areas to woods preserving a number of endemic species, and back again to volcanic rocks and snow.

A great number of visitors reach Mount Etna every year to assist in the frequent and spectacular eruptions, and many among them love skiing in its snow-covered peaks, while enjoying the magnificent scenery of the sea.

In June 2013, due to its exceptional level of volcanic activity, Mount Etna was added to the Unesco World Heritage List.

During his visit to Sicily in 1788, writer Dominique Vivand Denon described Etna by using these words: “All that nature has of great, all it has of pleasant, all it has of terrible, can be compared to Etna and Etna cannot be compared to anything.”