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 and encouraged 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 Wolfgang Goethe .

The senses tell The summit craters

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

The Etna viewpoint

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza


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

The 1669 eruption in Catania

An ever-evolving volcano

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

Etna, a natural laboratory where experiments can be carried out

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

The senses tell The Etna Viewpoint

The living mountain

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

The different names of the “Muntagna”

Etna: a marvellous group of different types of flora

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

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

The Grand Tour in Sicily

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

The senses tell Valle del Leone

The “notches” of snow

The senses tell The Red Mountains

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

The senses tell Acireale

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

A fauna yet to be discovered

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

The Jaci river

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

The senses tell Val Calanna

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

Acireale and its “timpe”