Etna Has Been Talking A Lot

Mount Etna has been talking to us consistently this year. She has said hello 50 times since February, which has led to her southeastern crater now extending a little over 11,000 feet above sea level, surpassing the northeastern crater’s height, which was the highest point for decades. Etna has four summit craters, now two that…

52 Reasons to Love Sicily | #7. Etna Shows Her Power

Reaching 11,000 feet above sea level into the sky, its four active craters also give us spectacular lava shows (from a distance) that illustrate Mamma Etna’s potency. Etna’s expansive majesty is awe-inspiring for its beauty and its power. Don’t be afraid. She is a somewhat predictable volcano, and walking on her extinct craters and exploring…

Etna Awakened

Sicilians are buzzing because Mount Etna erupted last evening. No fear, Mamma Etna woke from a sleep, which locals much prefer over the other option: an earthquake. Authorities are monitoring the activity and are not concerned. (View of Etna from Taormina during a 2017 eruption)

Mount Etna’s First Flora

When you walk on Etna’s craters you can imagine how rich the mineral-filled lavic soil will one day become. It takes 100 to 700 years for lava soil to support new vegetation growth. One of the first natural plants to return (and pictured here) is Sicilian astragalus. Others include camomile flowers, Etna rennet, and tansy…

People Watching In Taormina

Perhaps Taormina’s best piazza for people watching is Piazza IX Aprile. The Church of San Giuseppe (from where this photo was taken) with its double stairway has held court here since the 17th century, while the historic Wunderbar Caffè (at my right from where I am standing) has played host to the likes of Truman…