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The "Grotta degli Archi" (cave of the arches) is on the south-west side of Mount Etna. It can be easily reached walking on the first part of the pista altomontana starting from the Ariel refuge.

Leave the car close to the entrance Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: the entrance and start walking on the trail. In the first section, there are the following points of interest:

  • A picnic area Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: A picnic area quite close to the entrance Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna:
  • Some enormous brooms Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: Some enormous brooms
  • The Botanical Garden "Nuova Gussonea" Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: The Botanical Garden nuova gussonea Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna:
  • The altar dedicated to Saint Giovanni Gualberto Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: The altar dedicated to Saint Giovanni Gualberto

After 3 km we exits from the wood, walking for a while on the magma desert Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: magma desert until we find some small "stone towers Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: stone towers" on the right. Turn right, following those towers, until you find a track which cross the magma Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: track which cross the magma, leading to the last section of the cave Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: the last section of the cave. The cave has two different levels: the upper one, made of some magma arches over a huge magma flowing channer Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: magma flowing channer.

The lower level is a real magma pipe, but it was not possible to walk inside it due to the snow. So, we just walked up over the magma channel, in order to check all the arches:
  • First arch (from the upper part of the cave) Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: First arch (from the upper part of the cave)
  • Second arch Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: Second arch Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna:
  • Third arch Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: Third arch
  • Fourth arch Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: Fourth arch
  • Final part of the cave Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: Final part of the cave

Although we visited the cave in May, a lot of snow was still present inside the channel, so it was not possible to walk under all the arches or walk inside the cave under the arches. We just said goodbye to the nice ladybirds Grotta degli Archi, Mount Etna: nice ladybirds we found on the cave before we came back (or going on towards the Galvarina Refuge).



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