"I had heard about the stupendous iridescence of the aurora upon the Ionian Sea, when you contemplate it from Etna's summit...The earthly and marine vastness revealed to our sight stretched as far as Africa, clearly visible, and Greece, as far as you could have guessed. It was one of the supreme moments of my life. Nothing was missing, not the golden fringe of a cloud, nor the eagles..."

Adapted from "Adriano's Memories", Marguerite Yourcenar.


Ilice di Carrinu - Description

The "Ilice di Carrinu" is one of the most beautiful trees on Mount Etna. It is a 700 years old holm (a kind of oak), really impressive. Its branches are long and twisted, its trunk is dark and massive; in my view, is more fascinating than the 100 Horses Chestnut Tree. The name of the tree comes from the name of the old owner of the wood.

The oak stands in the Milo town. You can find the starting point entering in Milo from Zafferana Etnea Go past the main square and in a few meter you'll find an indication on the left to the "Ilice di Pantano". Keep following the signs for the "Ilice" and also for Mountain Bike Etna; you'll leave a stone quarry on your left, the starting point is straight on this way.

The path is really easy, there are two ways to reach the tree, on the map you can see the yellow forward path and the blue return path. The walk is mainly inside the wood, there are a few forks (here go left) on an easy, wide trail; the only difficult is to go beyond this wooden gate using the ladder. Here you can look at this beautiful trees in the clearing, a Forest Guard refuge and, due to the season (October) also many wonderful autumn saffrons flowers (Crocus longiflorus). Go left at the fork in order to get to this wooden passage.

Let's walk the last section among many others flowers, than finally we get to the clearing where the big tree is waiting for us. Pictures and words cannot describe the tree as it deserves. The shape and the size of the branches must be be seen live. The only picture than is able to show the astonishing tree is this one, where we compare the holm with one of us. These pictures had been taken in autumn, we'll come back to admire it in spring season

We can come back from a different way, descending a path in front of the tree until we get a small stonewall. Go left on the trail until you get to the starting point.