Mount Etna

An ever-evolving volcano

The volcanic structure of Etna as we see it today, with almost 3400 metres of elevation , is the result of the construction, one on top of the other, of many volcanic structures, whose position has changed over time. Therefore, Etna was “born” around 500,000 years ago.
The oldest volcanic products are located in the area between Aci Castello and Aci Trezza, just north of Catania. These eruptive centres, dating back to previous ages, developed within a gulf, which over the millennia has been filled by both lava products and alluvial deposits from the Simeto river, the current Plain of Catania. The most ancient lava flows surface in the Adrano area and date back 330,000 years.
Between 250 and 130,000 years ago, the activity moved further north, forming a linear chain of volcanoes in the area of the present-day Timpe of Acireale.
Between 130 and 67,000 years ago, the activity moved inland, to the area of present-day Valle del Bove: here several eruptive centres were formed and destroyed over time, the biggest of which is the Trifoglietto.
Between 67 and 15,000 years ago, the activity moved even further inwards, coinciding with the present-day volcanic structure: this is the period of the Elliptical, a great stratovolcano that probably reached 3700 metres of elevation.
Finally, the current eruptive era began 15,000 years ago, the era of Mongibello, where the Valle del Bove was also formed.


The 2001 eruption of Etna, when the Mountain seemed to be alive

The “notches” of snow

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

The different names of the “Muntagna”

Val Calanna, the first step towards a single large volcanic structure

The Grand Tour in Sicily

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

The senses tell The Red Mountains

The senses tell Val Calanna

Torre del Filosofo: at the base of the summit craters (2950 metres)

The Etna viewpoint

Acireale and its “timpe”

An ever-evolving volcano

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

The first volcanic structures of Etna, between Aci Castello and Aci Trezza

The Jaci river

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

The world’s first (almost successful) attempt to stop a lava flow: the eruption of 1991-93

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

The senses tell Valle del Leone

The 1669 eruption in Catania

The senses tell The summit craters

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

The senses tell Acireale

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

A fauna yet to be discovered

Etna: a marvellous group of different types of flora

The living mountain

The senses tell The Etna Viewpoint

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

Humankind and the volcano: how should we behave? Volcanic risk

Etna, a natural laboratory where experiments can be carried out

Why is Etna one of the most studied volcanoes in the world?