Rising at 11,000 feet this volcano was the height, (pardon my pun), of my Sicilian visit. The top of the volcano area is totally black with fertile volcanic soil. Further down the Mount this soil provides abundant lemon tree crops, (3 to 4 crops per year), and delicious wines from the grapes produced from this soil. Etna was an under water occurrence born a half million years ago. An island, Sicily, was developed from these eruptions. Thus far in 2021, 51 eruptions have occurred. Staying in a nearby hotel dogs were often heard howling. They howl as the seismic noise affect them, and have become barometers to the volcano’s activity.
2002 was the last eruption and the community at Etna’s foot have developed methods to avert the volcanic flow using dynamite. Currently there are 4 active top craters with the side crater being monitored for activity. The soil is a magnesium silicate and other acidic minerals providing much nutrition for plants. Brought several bags home for my plants and results are pending.
When visiting stop at the roadside vendors on the top of the Mount. Their jams, jellies, honey, pistachios, and hazelnuts are known worldwide.
In 1987 the Mount Etna National Park was created. This is the only roadway up the mountain. Note the dark soil.
There are several altars to the Blessed Virgin on the Mount. One of the shops had lava flow stream around their gift shop with no damage to the shop.
. There is a very special tribute to Mary at this spot.
And don’t forget to stop and purchase some delicacies. There are many which are TSA compliant. Watch the traffic on the Mount as many buses and cars abound. This vendor saved an awe struck tourist who was almost struck – Me…