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Etna

Etna was born 700,000 years ago above the tectonic fault line that runs from Calabria through the eastern coast of Sicily to the Iblei Mountains. It is estimated that more than one billion cubic meters of lava and rock have emerged from its four main active craters and numerous secondary craters in the last 400 years. Etna takes magma from the upper portion of the earth's mantle at a depth of about 70-120 km and accumulates it in 2 large chambers inside the giant volcano.

The area around Etna has always been, and still is, a sought after settlement area thanks to its fertile soil. Despite the continuous eruptions, people respectfully challenge the volcano, colonizing its slopes. The first eruption of Etna, recorded in 1,500 BC, drove the Sicans away from the eastern coast of Sicily. According to Greek mythology, inside Etna there is the blacksmith's workshop of the gods - Hephaestus, the god of fire. Although the volcano may seem mythical and fabulous, it has enormous destructive power. 150 devastating eruptions have been recorded since ancient times, which brought death and destruction to the surrounding towns and settlements. The last catastrophic eruption occurred in 1669 and completely destroyed Catania.

In the recent past we should mention the eruptions of 1989 and 1992, when Zafferana Etnea barely escaped the destruction, and the eruptions of 2002 and 2003.

During the numerous eruptions, the Etna volcano erupts fire, ashes and smoke several times a year, leaving many tourists astonished to discover Sicily. There are daily tours on foot, by jeep or by cable car to visit this mountain of fire and thousands of tourists every year enjoy the arid "lunar" landscape and characteristic columns of smoke. On Etna you will even find a small ski area.

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