The Gran Cratere of the Fossa: when the volcano becomes a sculptor

The Gran Cratere of the Fossa stands above the port of Vulcano. Though not very tall, with just 400 metres of height, its charm is immense, because you have the chance to see a genuine volcano whose current activity is given by the numerous fumaroles on its summit.

Gran Cratere de La Fossa
Photo from the top of the Gran Cratere de La Fossa. In the foreground, the bottom of the crater is central, circular in shape and yellow ocher. The clearer bottom is about 50 meters deeper than the crater, brown in color cut by the yellow sulfur of the fumaroles. In the background, in a central position, you can see, immediately above, the Vulcanello peninsula, separated by a small strip of sea from the island of Lipari. Seen from here, the island of Lipari appears to be made up of two parts, the more stubby one in the foreground, and the much more horizontal part behind it. In the background on the left, with the peaks in the clouds, you can see the two mountains of the island of Salina.

The ascent to the Gran Cratere is a walk of around 45 minutes which, if taken slowly, is suitable for everyone even in the summer heat. You will forget about the climb as soon as you reach the top. Once the path ends, looking north, where the port and the island of Lipari are, you can see all seven magnificent Aeolian Islands above a surprising blue sea.

On days with more visibility, you can also see the majesty of Mount Etna rising 2000 metres above the northern mountain ranges of Sicily, which reach 1000 metres above sea level, and whose plumes of gas are practically always visible throughout the year.
To the south, on the other hand, you have the opportunity to observe the centre of the crater of Vulcano, with numerous fields of fumaroles that surround it. By going around the crater belt you will also have the chance to see the products of Vulcano’s last eruption between 1888 and 1890.
FumaroleThese are simply blocks of rock, ranging from a few decimetres to a few metres in size. They are dark grey in colour, very dense and therefore heavy, with fractures on the surface, which is where the name of bread-crust bombs comes from.
These volcanic “bombs” are typical of vulcanian eruptions. The fractures and shapes change from one bomb to another; you will feel like you are looking at the section of an open-air sculpture museum!bomba a crosta di pane

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The 2002-03 eruption

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The Gran Cratere of the Fossa: when the volcano becomes a sculptor

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The ancient production of salt