TRANSFEERO: Reliable airport transfers worldwide
Book a private transfer at over 1500 airports, stations and ports worldwide

We had already met Timparossa refuge, during our blog trips around the Etna area. We cannot help but talk about this place more than once, because it is beautiful. And especially in some seasons it offers a unique show of  the nature. Timparossa is a beech forest that embraces a small hut-shaped refuge, built in wood and lava stone. The refuge, inside, is stocked with almost everything (no beds, though) and welcomes several explorers every year. Let’s see in detail how to get to Timparossa and when it is the best time in year to go there.

How to get to Timparossa

From Etna North, and precisely from Piano Provenzana, the road to reach the Timparossa wood and its refuge is about 7 km long – to be exact, 6.62 km go and return. This means that with a good walk you can cover the route in about two hours, and the same amount on the way back. Two climbs and two descents characterize the march, making the route of medium difficulty overall, with a score of 5 out of 10 points.

We then start from Piano Provenzana and follow the route of the ancient carriage road that climbs to the central craters, but without reaching them. At a certain point, follow the signs for Monte Nero . Once you have reached it, go around it following the path on the left until you arrive at Timparossa.

If, on the other hand, you want to start from the Brunek-Grotta dei Lamponi route, equip yourself professionally. We are still in Etna North area but the journey from here is much longer. It is over 18 km of walking and therefore five and a half hours to go and the same to return. Here you follow the entire route from the Brunek pine forest to the lava desert (sciàre), continuing to the junction for Grotta dei Lamponi. At that point, turn left and go on up to Timparossa. The slope is more balanced here, but it is constant, without descents which makes the route difficult and recommended for very fit people.

timparossa wood02
photo by emilio messina

When to go to Timparossa

Considering the many hours of walking, the advice is to go to Timparossa in the less hot seasons, spring or autumn. In reality, autumn is the ideal season, because the beech forest is filled with red leaves and the view is breathtaking. In particular, the red trees all around the refuge filter the sunlight with that color, giving the whole view an atmosphere of an eternal sunset.

In summer, the climate is almost always serene and therefore you can tackle the route without fear of possible thunderstorms or drops in temperatures. The heat and fatigue, however, will be hard and it is therefore necessary to be well equipped. Never forget hat, sunglasses, water supplies ! The same goes for trekking shoes that should be also comfortable. Walking sticks are highly recommended.

What to see, beyond the woods

Once you reach Timparossa, if you are not too tired and you still want adventure, you can reach other interesting places in the surrounding area. Those arriving from the difficult Brunek way will find path 726 shortly before arriving in Timparossa, which leads to the Grotta del Gelo (the Ice Grotto). It is a detour that extends the march for 3 km more, so do it only if you are really well trained. Furthermore, to explore the Ice Grotto you need the help of an authorized guide, because the site is particularly delicate and above all difficult to reach. Avoid being heroes!

From the Piano Provenzana path, on the other hand, along the way, you can also meet the extinct craters of 1923 and the more recent ones of the 2002 eruption. It will therefore be possible to see the terrible “button mouths” from which came the lava that destroyed the area. That eruption was defined by the technicians as “perfect”. Nor should the beauty of Monte Nero be underestimated along the path of Piano Provenzana. This crater of 1646, which stands dark in the middle of a golden vegetation – especially in cold seasons – has all the charm of the power of the volcano that generated it.

Important information

To get to the starting points for Timparossa: from Catania, A18 motorway, Fiumefreddo di Sicilia exit. Go towards the Etna villages up to Linguaglossa and from there follow the signs for Etna Nord, Ragabo-Brunek, Piano Provenzana. From Messina, along the same highway towards Catania, always exiting at Fiumefreddo. Those arriving from Catania can also choose to exit at Acireale or Giarre to go up from Zafferana Etnea, Milo, Fornazzo, Etna Nord.

Never venture on these trails unless you are an expert in the mountains, trekking or the area. Make sure you are always accompanied by the talented Etna guides, who have known these paths for a lifetime . They also know how to meet the needs of visitors in case of unforeseen events – climatic and others. (photo above title by G Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

Airport Transfers