Don’t Mess With Etna

On March 8, 1669, Etna began erupting. The citizens of Catania thought they could challenge the volcano. Unfortunately, they were wrong. The population of the city watched from the shores of the Ionian Sea as towns north and west of them were destroyed. Thinking their city walls would be a match Mother Nature’s wrath, they…

Sicily’s Mount Etna Means Well

Sicily’s volcano Etna, pictured, has been displaying her power this week, both with eruptive activity and an earthquake, centered below the surface of the town of Viagrande on the south slope. Thankfully, the injuries from the quake were limited, and although there was damage to centuries old buildings in the village of Fleri, for example,…

October in Sicily

October in Sicily means harvest festivals and sagras celebrating the abundance of the season. Each Sunday of this month in the town of Zafferana Etnea, pictured, on the east slope of Etna, they host the 40th edition of Ottobrata Zafferanese, a culture and food festival celebrating the typical products of the volcanic region. Each Sunday…

Where The Pistachio Grows

This weekend is the Pistachio Festival in Bronte, a town world renowned for its pistachio cultivation. The mineral-rich lava stone-soil on Mount Etna’s Western slopes, photographed from a pistachio farm I visited with a private, custom tour I led in May, offers fertile environs for the trees to grow.

Crater to Me

Sicily hosts the largest, most active volcano in Europe, Etna, aka, Mount Etna. The Silvestri Craters, one of which is pictured, were formed on Etna’s south slope during the eruption of 1892. Accessable from Rifugio Sapienza in Nicolosi, they are 6233 feet above sea level. You can walk along the rims of the two craters…