"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.
June 16, 2014 - After nearly five months of relative calm, Mount Etna is back to erupt!!. We finally published some pictures of the former, spectacular eruptions that took place between the end of 2013 and the begin of 2014 (courtesy of some friends who took part in our guided tours)
Here are some of the photos taken in February 2014 by Giuseppe Famoso (http://www.flickr.com/photos/geko103/sets/)
We thank for these photos Vito Sergio Finocchiaro. They were taken at the end of 2013
We eagerly await the awakening of the giant, hoping that confines itself to be spectacular as it did this winter!
On the mount Etna slopes there is a very special nature reserve. We could say it's more a private than a public reserve: it is one of the most interesting area of the Simeto River, wonderful canyons carved in the basalt rocks by the river.
The Lavic Ravins, close to the "Saraceno" bridge, should be inside the Nature Reserve Regional Plan, but it has always be just a plan. As we showed on the path, it is possible to walk just along a few hundred meters of the river banks, all the rest is fenced and inaccessible.
Here the water is precious, used to grow vegetables, fruits and so on. This is one of the few areas in Sicily with good agricultural production, probably the real challenge should be the preservation of both economic and environmental aspects, but so far it seems that the environment is not considered at all.
Even worse is the situation at the canyon "La Cantera": this is the most interesting area of the Simeto river and it is not even included in the plan for future nature reserve regional institution, you must walk on private areas in order to reach the canyon.
In the end, Simeto river can sleep soundly: it is more protected than a natural reserve, we could say it is... reserved :-(
"Acqua Rocca degli Zappini" is a special path, for sure. It's the first trail I walked through on 2003 and is also the place where I "falled in love" with the mountain, sleeping on my own close to the big beech tree.
But it seems to be a special path also for our website users. Two of them sent me some extraordinary pictures, taken in autumn (the season of the wonderful colors) and also in winter (definitely, the season of surprises). I decided to create the following picture gallery, using the most beautiful pictures taken by me taken by me and by the users. Here you can see this incredible gallery:
Some pictures are really beautiful, it seems the path decided to award people walking on it in winter, showing at its best: the splendid fox and the crystal ice can be seen just for luck or due to certain weather conditions, but all the rest is always there, available to everyone. Autumn colors leave us breathless, as well as Valle del Bove panorama do in every season. And what about the big beech tree and the basalt rock? It's incredible, but you can find all of this on a really affordable: just 1,7 km to walk through, with a 300 meters difference in height.
Have a nice journey on it!