Valle del Leone

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

In the upper northern flank of Mount Etna, at 2900 metres above sea level, is the Valle del Leone, a small valley facing the sea that overlooks the larger Valle del Bove. From here you get one of the best views of the volcano. In fact, it is the best place to observe the northern border of the Valle del Bove, formed entirely of the volcanic products of the Elliptical, a large eruptive centre that developed between 60 and 15,000 years ago.
Changing our line of vision just slightly, the Valle del Bove can be seen in its entirety. A breathtaking sight where, from over 2900 metres above sea level, you can easily see the sea at a very short distance!
If we move our gaze slightly right again, we can observe what has overlooked us from the moment we reached the Valle del Leone: the summit craters of Mount Etna. The nearly 3400 metres of height and continuous outpouring of gas give us a clear idea of just how alive the volcano is under our feet.
If we turn north, we find an unexpected panorama: the view of the whole of northern Sicily and the entire archipelago of the Aeolian Islands!
Finally, concluding our 360° tour, we notice a house with a dome: this is the historical Etna Observatory , one of the highest observatories in the world on an active volcano, recently restored by the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.
Le Eolie viste dall’Etna

Etna, a natural laboratory where experiments can be carried out

The senses tell Valle del Leone

Acireale and its “timpe”

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

The 1669 eruption in Catania

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

The senses tell The Red Mountains

The different names of the “Muntagna”

The senses tell The summit craters

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

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

The senses tell Acireale

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

The living mountain

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

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

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

The Jaci river


Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

The “notches” of snow

The Etna viewpoint

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

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

Etna: a marvellous group of different types of flora

The senses tell The Etna Viewpoint

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

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

A fauna yet to be discovered

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

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

The senses tell Val Calanna

An ever-evolving volcano

The Grand Tour in Sicily

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

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669