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It is a beautiful path that allows you to see different environments of Mount Etna.
It is not a ring route, so two cars are required to avoid coming back by walk.

Geological note: the "Ripa della Naca" is a geologic element created by prehistorical volcanic activity. Huge fissure eruptions along the faults, characterized by very fluid lava. Those eruption created many rocky slopes like the "Ripa della Naca".
Historical note: the eruption of 1928 was the last one on Mount Etna that destroyed an entire village. Mascali was in fact wiped out in a matter of hours. The first part of the eruption started at a much higher altitude. It seems that the believers of the three villages threatened by the eruption organized a procession to try to stop the lava. Legend says that the inhabitants of Mascali left the procession due to rain and this caused the destruction of their village.

Now let's start walking on the path. Leave the car at the ending point, close to the Orto dei Semplici Farmhouse and then drive with another car to reach the starting point in Cerrita area Ripa della Naca: the starting point in Cerrita area.
We are at 1400 meters above sea level, the dominant trees are a kind of oaks locally called "Cerri". Close to the starting point there are some very beautiful mushrooms Ripa della Naca: some very beautiful mushrooms but in any case, remember: NEVER pick mushrooms if you can not recognize them with certainty. We descend along a dirt track Ripa della Naca: dirt track, inside a real wood Ripa della Naca: real wood as you can recognize from the various sizes of the threes. At the edge of the path there are some common brooms Ripa della Naca: some common brooms, with their beautiful yellow flowers Ripa della Naca: beautiful yellow flowers, much less impressive than the aetnensis brooms we'll find later on the path.

In short we come to the Forest Guards shelter 'Antico ovile' Ripa della Naca: Forest Guards shelter 'Antico ovile', also known as "Case dei Pecorai" (House of the shepherds). As you lower the altitude, oaks decrease and chestnut trees increase in number due to the different climate. Chestnuts trees in this area were planted during past years. We are in the midst of the fracture line generated from the ancient fissure eruption Ripa della Naca: the fracture line generated from the ancient fissure eruption, as shown by the rocky substrate on which trees grow.

Go down again along the slope until you come to a currently cultivated area. Beautiful cherry trees Ripa della Naca: Beautiful cherry trees, but also trees of apples and pears populate this area run by a farm in full operation, with a lot of beehives Ripa della Naca: a lot of beehives. Path rise a bit in order toy to visit the craters of 1928. Ripa della Naca: the craters of 1928.

From here the view is really amazing, a mix of colors Ripa della Naca: a mix of colors including white, blue, green, yellow and black. We are between sky and sea Ripa della Naca: between sky and sea, chestnut trees and junipers, clouds and lava. But above all, the overwhelming smell of broom in some places surrounds us and makes this path absolutely unique in late spring season. After the visit to the old craters, we walk down to a stone road Ripa della Naca: a stone road surrounded by huge brooms Ripa della Naca: huge brooms and also by butterflies Ripa della Naca: butterflies, flowers, wild strawberries Ripa della Naca: wild strawberries, walnuts and hazelnuts trees Ripa della Naca: walnuts and hazelnuts trees and other elements typical of the Etna landscape.


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