Fodor's Expert Review Mt. Etna
In 387 BC, Plato sailed in just to catch a glimpse of it; in the 9th century AD, the first granita of all was shaved off its snowy slopes; in 1669, it erupted continuously for four months and lava flows reached Catania; and in the 21st century, the volcano still grabs headlines on an annual basis. Etna has erupted a dozen times since 1971, most spectacularly in 1971, 1983, 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2015. There were also a pair of medium-size eruptions in 2008, one in 2009, and fairly constant eruptive activity during the summer of 2011, winter of 2013, and summer of 2014. Travel in the proximity of the crater depends on Mt. Etna's temperament, but you can walk up and down the enormous lava dunes and wander over its moonlike surface of dead craters. The rings of vegetation change markedly as you rise, with vineyards and pine trees gradually giving way to growths of broom and lichen.