Torre del filosofo

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

At almost 3000 metres above sea level and at the base of the summit craters, in the area of Torre del Filosofo, there is a place that was once loved by Empedocles. A Sicilian philosopher and politician, he was born and lived in Akragas, present-day Agrigento, in the 5th century BC.It is said that the Agrigentine lived and built a dwelling here because he loved being in touch with nature. One of his wishes was to become one with the surface of Etna, mixing with the water, earth and air.
Empedocles studied the eruptive phenomena and was highly fascinated by the same nature that according to legend, even caused his death, whereby he plunged into a crater of the volcano. Many stories have arisen around this story, each one telling a different ending.
According to Hippobotus, “He got up, set out on his way to Mount Etna; then, upon reaching it, plunged into its fiery craters and disappeared, his intention being to confirm the report that he had become a god. Afterwards the truth was known, because one of his slippers was thrown up in the flames; it had been his custom to wear slippers of bronze”.

The 2001 eruption of Mount Etna, where the approach to volcanoes changed

A fauna context yet to be discovered


The senses tell The Red Mountains

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

Volcanic monitoring and eruption forecasting

The senses tell Valle del Leone

The 1669 eruption in Catania

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

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

The “notches” of snow

The senses tell Val Calanna

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

The different names of the “Muntagna”

The Grand Tour in Sicily

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

Acireale and its “timpe”

The senses tell Acireale

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

Why did Etna form in that specific geographical position?

The senses tell The Etna viewpoint

The first Etnean volcanic events between Aci Castello and Aci Trezza

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

The Jaci river

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

Etna, wine terroir of excellence

Etna, the living mountain

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

An ever-evolving volcano

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

The Etna viewpoint

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

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

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

Etna, an ever-changing natural laboratory

The senses tell The Summit craters

Etna: a marvellous group of microclimates and vegetation