It has a long history of outbreaks of varying degrees and the most significant was in 1669 when the lava flowed for 122 days! As late as 1992, the Italian air force have had to stop the lava flow by dumping large blocks of ice so that the small town of Zafferana Etnea is not scorched!
For more information about the nature park around the volcano (currently only in Italian):
It is an incredible experience to explore Etna and its craters close up, but we strongly recommend that you don't do this on your own, but with a well-qualified alpine guide who knows the volcano territory well. You can book a place on guided tours to Etna via several local agencies or inquire at your nearest tourist office. The volcano is an experience for both children and adults. Guided tours on the sides of the volcano: - http://www.etnatouring.com/Eng/EscursioniEtna.aspx - http://www.etnatrekking.com/index_eng.htm
Read more about Etna Volcano
For those who are interested in seeing the Etna volcano from a distance, a wonderful way to do this is to jump on the little funicular railway Circumetnea (www.circumetnea.it/) that runs around the mountain where the volcano is located. This is the possibility to get off the train when it stops in the smaller towns located on the mountain slopes. You can also drive around the mountain roads by car.
All year round you can participate in the many local fairs that are held in the small towns located on Etna's slopes. In the aforementioned town Zafferana Etnea for example, there is a national festival during the month of November in which the local chestnuts and wine is celebrated. In the town of Trecastagni they celebrate more local products in October with the largest public festival, and Randazzo holds a wine festival in May. The village Giarre celebrates the area's large and fragrant lemons, where the finest are proudly displayed and there is a demonstration of local cuisine with recipes containing lemons of course.
You can choose from our collection of handpicked holiday accommodation around the coast and towns surrounding Etna in some beautiful locations. Use the search machine on the page above to look through and find what suits you. Feel free to ask our travel experts for free advice, we are hear to make sure that you get the best out of your holiday in Sicily.
Every year there is a festival called Etnafest, extending over several months with various events for music and art. The festival's website (Italian only): - http://www.etnafest.it Links to lists (in Italian) of town celebrations on Mount Etna slopes: - http://www.prg.it/parcodelletna/sagre/sagre01.html - http://www.prg.it/parcodelletna/sagre/sagre02.html