The idea of creating a web sites that allows everyone to enjoy Etna came from the direct experiences made from us on its trails. We found out that is not easy trying to discover the Volcano (or "the Mountain", as people from Catania calls it). For istance, we recognized that:
Trails often are really bad indicated: sometimes, when we were looking for a trail, we had been not able to find out what were we looking for. Although we had maps with us, we did not manage to find out the trail entrance. As Etna is full of places waiting just to be explored, we always discovered another trails close to our target, but the point is that is not easy to go hiking on Etna due to lack of information.
- There are often forks or detours that are not clearly signed on the trails. We thought that a clearly, detailed trail tracking could help hikers to find easily the right way.
- Information about Etna are not available to everyone. We want Etna to become available to everyone, as it happen on Alps, where it is quite easy to go hiking due to the lot of information that people can rely on.
EtnaTracking gives information that currently don't exist on any other portal: GPS trails tracking used with powerful tools as Google Earth and Google Maps allow people to have a clear vision of the trails. Picture taken and placed on the tracks point out the most interesting places, the forks, and so on. Hikers can plan their path, download the track and upload on their GPS. In this way you'll have a complete guide for escursions or you could simply virtually go through the paths with Google Earth or Google Maps. For each trail we reported difficulty level, length, difference in height and most suitable season to walk on the trails.
EtnaTracking is a challenging project that aims to track all Etna trails and all the most important naturalistic sites.
The portal is for everyone: people coming for the first time to overview "bove valley" from easy tracks and also people able to walk several hours on lava stones to reach places as "la Grotta del Gelo".
We hope this sites is useful for everyone loving nature and we are waiting for your advices, your indications, your discoveries on Etna to keep improving the portal.