The Valle del Bove or Valley of the Oxen is a lava valley on Mount Etna’s eastern flank. Note the distinct difference between the green treeline on the left and the black lava flow on the right. Seeing this illustrates the definitive force of lava pretty clearly. The Valley is one of Etna’s most rugged and dangerous areas. It is massive, and one can easily lose his bearings if trying to traverse it. In other words, don’t explore it unless you are with an experienced guide.
Volcanologists don’t know the exact age of the Valle del Bove, which could be anywhere from 5000 to 80,000 years old. Many eruptions of the 20th century have contributed to its further development, and throughout the millennia, avalanches have been responsible for its form, which is a massive depression in the side of the volcano.