There are a so many legends about giants living on Mount Etna; probably, the most famous is the Cyclops legend. They threw the big rock in front of Acitrezza, trying to stop Ulysses' escape. Besides mythological giants, there are also the real ones, majestic creatures living on Mount Etna since a long time ago, more then any other thing. They reached us surviving to eruptions, lightning and sometimes even to humans attacks! We are talking about the monumental Mount Etna trees, living on the volcano since many hundreds of years. Spring is the best season to visit them./p>
On Mount Etna thera are many species of trees, depending on altitude, side and also the eruptions; for istance we have:
- Pine trees
For some of these species, is quite easy to find the most important tree.
The biggest and oldest chestnut is for sure the famous One Hundred Horses Chestnut tree, whose legend is famed as well. We just rememeber that it is the world biggest chestnut and probably one of the three oldest trees on the whole Earth.
Regarding the pine trees, we have the "Zappinazzu", 31 meters tall and 300 years old, the biggest pine tree on Mount Etna. To be honest, it is not good conditions, probably due to a lightning. We don't think it we'll survive for a long time. We were more impressed by another huge pine tree we found close to Sartorius Mounts, really impressive.
It seems to be definetely more healthy the king of beeches: the big Acqua Rocca path tree, placed at the middle of the trail. It really seems the guardian of the trail.
The biggest oak is the "Ilice di Carrinu", 700 years old and really stately, probably the most impressive one. Its long, twisted branches enchant us every time we visit it.
We don't know which is the biggest birch, but there's the birches trails, placed close to Sartorius Mounts. Somewhere the birches are so thick that seems it's impossible to walk through them.
At the end of "Cubanìa" trail, there's a wonderful aspen wood. Their leaves shakes just for a breeze, you'll be surprised hearing their sound and looking at their sun light reflection.
There are probably more other giants on Mount Etna, but you can even be astonished just in front of one of the many trees trying to survive in such a hostile environment, like the last one in the picture's gallery. You can find it on the trail leading to the Grotta del Gelo. It is not the biggest, nor the oldes trees, but it is really, really, really impressive.