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, 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 senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

The “notches” of snow

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

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

The senses tell Acireale

The senses tell The summit craters

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

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

Acireale and its “timpe”

An ever-evolving volcano

Etna, a natural laboratory where experiments can be carried out

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

The Grand Tour in Sicily

The senses tell The Red Mountains

A fauna yet to be discovered

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

The 1669 eruption in Catania

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

The senses tell The Etna Viewpoint


Etna: a marvellous group of different types of flora

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

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

The senses tell Valle del Leone

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

The senses tell Val Calanna

The living mountain

The Jaci river

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

The Etna viewpoint

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

The different names of the “Muntagna”

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale