The Etna viewpoint

The Etna viewpoint

The viewpoint is situated at around 2600 metres, along the south-western flank of the Valle del Bove. It can be reached easily even by those with no experience in long trekking: the funicular from Rifugio Sapienza will take you to 600 metres from this area.
The panorama that awaits is unforgettable. In fact, the viewpoint overlooks the magnificent Valle del Bove, a vast valley 5-6 kilometres wide and long.
Panorama dal BelvedereHowever, it is not only a “pretty sight” because of the Valle del Bove. From here you have one of the best views from a medium distance of the summit craters, and therefore of all the recent eruptions from the eruptive phase of the Mongibello Recente, which began around 15,000 years ago. The summit craters are characterised by a perennial plume of gas, making Etna one of the volcanoes that emit the most gas into the atmosphere anywhere in the world.
In the viewpoint area it is also possible to admire a very rare structure in the world of volcanology, a “ pit crater ”.
You will recognise it immediately. It is a very wide and circular “hole”, traditionally named and mapped as “La Cisternazza”. The viewpoint area appears to be dominated by a cone of ash, known as “Cratere Laghetto”, formed during the 2001 eruption.

Etna: a marvellous group of different types of flora

The senses tell The Red Mountains

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

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

The senses tell Valle del Leone

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

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

The senses tell The Etna Viewpoint

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

The Etna viewpoint

Acireale and its “timpe”

The Jaci river

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters


Etna, a natural laboratory where experiments can be carried out

A fauna yet to be discovered

The “notches” of snow

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

The living mountain

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

An ever-evolving volcano

The 1669 eruption in Catania

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

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

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

The different names of the “Muntagna”

The senses tell Val Calanna

The Grand Tour in Sicily

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

The senses tell The summit craters

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

The senses tell Acireale

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

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693