The ascent can be from the south from Catania, via Nicolosi, or by the northeast face from Taormina via Linguaglossa. The former will take you up to an altitude of 3 000m near the grandiose Valle del Bove, hemmed in by walls of lava (1 000m high) and pierced with pot holes and crevasses belching smoke. The road to the northeast face ends at Piano Provenzana (1 800m). There is a magnificent view from the area around the new observatory. The climb ends amid an extraordinary landscape of lava and smoking pot holes.
jeep tours organized everyday (weather permitting): in general mid Apr-end Oct (9am-4pm) -Etna South: information at Funivia dell'Etna, Piazza V. Emanuele 45, Nicolosi - t 095 91 41 41 - Etna North: departure from Piano Provenzana - contact STAR a few days ahead - t 095 37 13 33. Trekkings, ski tours and guided tours of caves - information South Etna: Gruppo Guide Alpine Etna Sud - Piazza V. Emanuele 43 - Nicolosi - t 095 79 14 755 - www.etnaguide.com - information Etna North: Gruppo Guide Alpine Etna Nord in Linguaglossa - Piazza A. Castrogiovanni 19 - t 095 77 74 502 - www.guidetnanord.com. About €60/visitor with a guide to visit summit craters (6-7-hr walk)