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Two-days hike on Mt Etna

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4 Anni 2 Mesi fa #151 da julou
julou ha creato la discussione Two-days hike on Mt Etna

We just come back from a 2 days hike on Mt Etna. As it was difficult to find information to prepare it and since this website was useful, I think it could help future readers to summarise our trip.

Given the well-established tracks (pista altomontana & pista per le crateri) and the fact that we relied only on public transport, the initial plan was to hike from Rifugio Sapienza to Rifugio Brunek by the "pista per le crateri" and to reach Randazzo the second day by following the "pista altomontana".
Without speaking italian, it was impossible to get precise information on the activity (level 1 to 4) nor on whether it was aloud to hike without a guide around the craters by following the track. Hiking on top of them is clearly forbidden without a guide.

First day: Rifugio Sapienza to Piano Provenzana
Morning bus from Catania to Rifugio Sapienza. No info on the conditions (as in Catania).
Out of the Rif Sapienza, Funivia Etnea and Guides South, the guides were the most helpful although we started hiking without knowing if we would manage to reach the other side.
Reaching Torre del Filosofo, we tried to keep going on the track but were stopped by a guide. We explained that we only aimed at going around the craters, and he let us go
after we promised that we would not leave the track. Conclusion: it's forbidden but (sometimes?) tolerated. We saw no control in the other direction.
The landscape up there is unique! We reached Piano Provenzana after walking 6h15. We hitch hiked to Rifugio Brunek.

Second day: Rifugio Brunek to Randazzo
Following the pista altomontana was easy and beautiful. Very different from the first day. We visited the grotta del lamponi but were not brave enough to hike up the grota del gelo (and the rain was coming).
On the way, the Rifugio Santa Maria was opened and in good shape. However, the Rifugio Saleti was under work (close to completion?) but usable in case of no alternative (water at the tap!).
Once we reached the paved road, the descent was long all the more so as one foot was hurting. Luckily we hitch hiked for the last ~5km.

We staid overnight in Randazzo although we arrived early enough to catch the train to Catania. It is a nice little countryside town but there is not so much to be seen (excellent pasticceria saved us ;)
We went back by train the next day we a stop in Bronte (to see the pistach trees…). Not worth it! You'd better stop in one of the smaller next stops if you are really after pistach trees (you see hundreds from the train but escaping the charmless city by foot is not doable in a few hours only).

All in all, I would only change 2 things:
- starting from Rif Sapienza, I would try to avoid the first section under the cablecar; either by taking it or by going around the Montagnola . The second option would make it a loonnngggg day! but offer great views of the valle del bove.
- skip the stop at Bronte on the way back. However the train ride is (in my opinion) definitely worth it!

Hope this help. Thank you again Bruno for your countless advice!

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4 Anni 2 Mesi fa #152 da Etnatracker
Etnatracker ha risposto alla discussione Re: Two-days hike on Mt Etna
Great excursion! If there was a refuge at Piano Provenzana, it had been possible to stay there for the night and then start the day after towards the Timpa Rossa refuge.

I definetely agree with your final considerations:

-don't walk the first section at the refuge Sapienza, the cablecar worth its price!
-don't stop in Bronte unless you want to buy pistachos specialties (at the beginning of october there is the "Sagra del Pistacchio", a sort of pistachio festival!)



“Tutto ciò che la natura ha di grande, tutto ciò che ha di piacevole, tutto ciò che ha di terribile si può paragonare all' Etna; e l'Etna non si può paragonare a nulla”.
Dominique Vivand Denon, “Voyage en Sicile”

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