The Etna Summit Craters

The senses tell The summit craters

The inside of the summit craters

If you are lucky, trained and accustomed to high altitudes and trekking, and especially if there is no ongoing eruption, you can enjoy the sight of the inside of the summit craters. Straight away, you will notice the ever-present tall gas columns coming from the summit fumarole fields. Can you see the bottom of the Voragine?

Internal activity

In absolute silence, even without seeing ash clouds rising from the bottom of the craters, you can distinctly see some explosions: these are simply gas bubbles exploding inside the volcanic conduit when they are about to reach the surface. Enjoy the view with respect and without fear.

Thin air

In addition to the omnipresent odour from the fumaroles of the Etna summit area, when you breathe in the air you will sense that there is very little oxygen. In reality, the quantity of oxygen in the mixture that makes up the air is still the same, but the lower atmospheric pressure here causes the rarefication of the entire air mixture.

The vibrating ground

Stop, sit down and place your hands on the crater perimeter. You will feel the ground vibrate, caused by the explosions inside the volcanic conduit.

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

The living mountain

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

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

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

The senses tell Acireale

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

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

The 1669 eruption in Catania

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

The Grand Tour in Sicily

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

The senses tell The summit craters

The Etna viewpoint

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

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

The different names of the “Muntagna”

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

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

Etna: a marvellous group of different types of flora

A fauna yet to be discovered

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

The senses tell The Red Mountains

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

An ever-evolving volcano

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

The senses tell The Etna Viewpoint

Acireale and its “timpe”

The senses tell Val Calanna

The senses tell Valle del Leone


The Jaci river

The “notches” of snow

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

Etna, a natural laboratory where experiments can be carried out