Torre del filosofo

The Grand Tour in Sicily

The Grand Tour was a route with various stops, required by young aristocrats to complete their university education. From 1400 onwards, it spread rapidly throughout Europe to encourage contact between students and the main European courts through educational trips.
Italy immediately represented the centre of European cultural and artistic life, and hosted a large number of young foreigners during the Renaissance. Initially, the most visited cities were Rome, Florence, Milan and Turin, and it was not customary to go any further south than Naples, at least until the 17th century, when Sicily and its historical and artistic natural beauty also became part of the Grand Tour.
During their journeys, travellers would observe the island from different points of view: from the historical-anthropological analysis to the landscape, to which a scholar’s emotions and theses or an artist’s reproductions would be added. This made it possible to reconstruct a rather detailed image of 18th-century Sicily.
Other not-so-young travellers were attracted by the beauty described in Sicily, one of the most important being Johann Wolfgang von Goethe .

Acireale and its “timpe”

The senses tell The Etna viewpoint

Etna, an ever-changing natural laboratory

The Etna viewpoint

The senses tell Val Calanna

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

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

Etna, the living mountain

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

The “notches” of snow

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

The first Etnean volcanic events between Aci Castello and Aci Trezza

The 1669 eruption in Catania

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

The senses tell Valle del Leone

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

Why did Etna form in that specific geographical position?

The senses tell The Summit craters

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

The Jaci river


The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

The Grand Tour in Sicily

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

Volcanic monitoring and eruption forecasting

The different names of the “Muntagna”

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

An ever-evolving volcano

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

A fauna context yet to be discovered

Etna, wine terroir of excellence

The senses tell Acireale

The senses tell The Red Mountains

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

Etna: a marvellous group of microclimates and vegetation