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Autumn is a very beautiful season in the mountains. And since Mount Etna is a large and wide volcano, as high as a real mountain, the autumn season has an incredible development here. You will find all the colors of the leaves, the traditions related to the farming world and much more. All this obviously “seasoned” by some eruption here and there. When it happens in this period, in fact, it adds charm to the charm. Imagine the lava fountains that colour the fog at high altitude! Visiting Etna,taking organized tours on Etna, in the months between October and December is therefore a happy choice. But be sure to come here well prepared. And not just in terms of money and travel plans. Are you sure you know EVERYTHING about this volcano and its wonderful autumn time? Here is a short guide made just for you.

The country fires

Much of the Etna territory is agricultural or dedicated to breeding. The customs of these villages and lands, therefore, are closely linked to the rituals of country life. Autumn on Mount Etna is also made up of small country fires, bonfires managed and controlled by farmers or garden owners. They thus burn dead leaves or old wood so to produce coal or fertilizer for the land. Wandering through the streets that climb the volcano, you will then see many columns of smoke rising, but you don’t have to worry. They are not flank eruptions, for sure! These are precisely agricultural fires or fireplaces, pellet stoves or ovens that light up gradually to greet the cooler season.

The fog

Etna often lets itself be enveloped by fog in autumn. But not only. The fog is produced by the volcano itself. As the air cools, the drastic thermal excursion due to the very hot lava stone creates vapours. In many cases they disperse without problems, but when the air is saturated with humidity they thicken and form mists. In autumn, fog is not rare on Mount Etna. This is why it is always the case to venture into the excursions of this period with local guides. Being surprised by the fog in the mountains is always a danger, if the mountain is a volcano – then – the danger is double. Never underestimate the weather forecast or the little clouds on the horizon when you climb Mount

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running through autumn colours

Etna in these months.

The most beautiful colors

Etna is mostly covered with evergreen trees such as pines, oaks, chestnuts or even palms at lower altitudes! But the fact remains that there are wonderful corners where trees show yellow, reddish, orange foliage, creating a variety of unique autumn colors. The birches of the Sartorius Craters, the beech woods of Piano Provenzana and Timparossa, the groves of Piano Vetore and Piano del Vescovo are places to visit and photograph during the Etna autumn.

The season of fairs

Autumn on Etna is also the time for food fairs. In this season each village enhances its genuine products. These are the months to buy and taste mushrooms from Etna, sweet apples from Etna, honey, chestnuts. Visits to the cellars of excellent local wines, which often open to tourists in this season, are highly recommended. The most important fair is the Ottobrata of Zafferana Etnea where all these products can be found together. But each square offers beautiful ideas, even at the level of craftsmanship linked to mountain materials.

Hiking in the autumn

In autumn, excursions are limited by daylight hours. The ideal would be to organize mountain tours on the south flank and on the west flank, where the sunset comes a little later than on other sides. However, the most beautiful autumn colors are on the north side, which is certainly worth seeing. But in that case plan the tour for mid-morning, thus avoiding the thin layer of ice in the early hours and the lack of afternoon light. Always travel with a waterproof jacket and an umbrella in your backpack, because rain, cold and fog – as already mentioned – can take you by surprise even on the “hottest” mountain in Sicily! (the photos are by Grazia Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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