Which is better emperor or aetna


Etna, home of myth

"I had heard of the dazzling colors of the sunrise over the Ionian Sea when you look at it from Etna. And so I decided to climb the mountain; we came from the area of ​​the vines to that of the lava and then to that with The boy with the legs of a dancer ran on the steep slopes; the scientists who accompanied me climbed it with mules. On the summit a refuge had been built where one could wait for the sunrise immense shimmering stripes, stretched from one horizon to the other, strange fires shone on the ice of the summit, the expanse of land and sea opened before our eyes to Africa, which one recognized and to Greece, whose outline one could guess was one of the greatest moments of my life. Nothing was missing; not the golden stripe of a cloud, not the eagles, not the gift of immortality. " Margerite Yourcenar tells the intense and unforgettable experience of climbing Mount Etna in "The Memoirs of Emperor Hadrian". The highest active volcano in Europe, which with its 3323 meters is rooted in the collective imagination of the ancient and modern inhabitants and visitors of the island, as a source of life and health, but also as a strict warning against challenging the irrepressible strength of nature. Its colossal profile and spectacular volcanic activity have made it a protagonist of myths and legends since ancient times. In pre-Socratic Greece, for example, the philosopher Empedocles took Mount Etna to prove the immortality of the forces of nature, a small universe in which fire, air, water and earth are constantly changing. Even Dante in his "Divine Comedy" recalls the legend that Etna arose from the punishment that Zeus imposed on the two titans Encelado and Tifeo because of their insolence. The king of the gods hurled a heavy boulder at them and condemned them to snort out their anger for eternity. In addition, in the interior of the mountain, according to Homer, was the great forge of the god Vulcanus, in which the weapons of Achilles, the hero of the Iliad and the destruction of Troy were forged. Theocritus and Ovidio later sang of the tragic and passionate love between Acis and Galatea, which was destroyed by Polyphemus because he loved the nymph Galatea and thus killed her lover. Thereupon he was condemned by Zeus and turned into a growling mountain with only one burning eye: Etna.

The ascent to Mount Etna was immortalized by the works of famous intellectuals and artists such as Goethe and Maupassant as an essential stage of the Grand Tour, which was intended for the aristocrats and the upper middle class of Europe. In this way, they contributed to promoting the discovery of the area as a land of glowing passion and extraordinary contrasts. Even today it is unthinkable to visit Sicily without getting to know its most evocative and impressive symbol. In 1987, Etna became a regional park in order to protect nature, unique in its beauty, as Etna offers a spectacular mix of shades of color, varying from the base to the crater where you can admire the recent lava flows. If you start the ascent of the volcano on the various excellent hiking trails, you have the opportunity to walk among vineyards, orchards, pistachio, hazelnut and gorse fields and then, near the craters, if the volcanic activity allows, the unique and unforgettable To discover "lunar landscapes". Particularly interesting is the pioneer vegetation, which includes rare or local plant species: the yellow groundwort of Etna and the Sicilian tragacanth, which are typical of the desolate landscape of the lava, which mainly consists of black basalt.

The rich fauna, depending on the altitude, includes wild cats (a species that is threatened with extinction in Sicily), foxes, golden eagles, sparrowhawks, buzzards, peregrine falcons and numerous other species of birds, the spectacle of which will help to give you an unforgettable experience.