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You are supposed to spend Christmas with your family, but you can go where you like on Easter time! Maybe on Mount Etna, enjoying places but also food and great wines from Linguaglossa, to Sant’Alfio and up to Bronte. The Italian tradition says you shall just eat and pray, on Easter Day. But you can go on excursions and trips the day after, “Pasquetta Monday”. And what place is better than Etna, the great volcano, for a walk in the woods? Or climbing lava rocks, or just stay there in a lazy shady corner? Here you can read some suggestions and ideas for organizing your Easter Picnic, or Pasquetta Picnic, on the mountain and among its lovely villages.

Picnic ideas on Etna: walk in the woods

The first aim on your Easter Picnic day are the woods. On Mount Etna the most beautiful woods are in Linguaglossa. Ragabo pine forest is the heir of a very ancient and perfumed wood. Its trees can get to 15 meters height and their shadow covers a wide land, below. The lazy hikers can just stop next to the two shelters – Ragabo and Brunek – so to enjoy restaurant and toilet services.


Those who love adventure, on the other hand, will be able to go along the paths as far as the pine forest meets the old lava flows. At that point you can also cross the rocky expanses so to reach more isolated woods. You could have your picnic there. On a day like Easter Monday, some places can be very crowded, so finding a place of your own is difficult. But not impossible!

For those who do not want to go too far north, the ideal is to follow the path of Ilice di Carrinu. This goes  from Milo – Etna East – towards the Valle del Bove. Among chestnut and oak groves, if you are constant in walking you will come to admire the beautiful centenary “ilice” oak tree. Speaking of centenary trees, if you stay on the east side of the volcano you could spend Easter Monday at the Chestnut of the Hundred Horses. This protected area near Sant’Alfio village is well served by tourist venues. Which make the famous secular tree an excellent destination especially for families with children.

Picnic ideas on Etna: at the springs

Another great idea for Easter Picnic is to head towards the west side of Etna. Here you are spoiled for choice for dream locations in which to have a picnic. A magical place, if you book early, is the farm of Lake Gurrida. This lake, created by a natural barrier due to an eruption, opens up between fields and groves. Today it is protected by the farm which allows access to it. It also offers excellent services for tourists.

If you want to stay free, however, do remain near Lake Gurrida. Not too far away, right along the provincial road, you can admire the Favare di Maletto. This is the course of a creek that is practically always dry. But at the end of winter it welcomes the thaw waters and fills up. The stream flows in a sprawling way between the ancient lavas and underground tunnels. So what you will see is an immense expanse of small streams that descend to the valley between bushes in bloom and many-coloured flowers. There are very few shaded areas, but if you find any … a picnic here will be a dream experience!

Staying to the west, in the territory of Adrano, go and discover the Saraceni bridge, under which the Simeto river flows in a semi-flat area that favours places for picnics and relaxation.

Walking around the towns


If, on the other hand, your Easter Monday is directed towards walks among the mountain villages, Etna offers several interesting choices. Randazzo, Castiglione, Malvagna are certainly the most beautiful destinations in the north side. But there is a lot to see in the south as well. We suggest an Easter walk at Pedara, a lovely village nestled between old lavas and groves. There, everything – even the churches! –  is built in lava stone.

Another idea could be to go and explore first Nicolosi, then enjoy the old town of Pedara and finally, go and taste the sweets of Belpasso. In the old core of this town you find  the best known pastry company in Sicily. Enjoy a triumph of nougat, chocolates but also excellent granitas. And a close-up view of  Etna’s top craters will take your breath away!


PIC NIC AND RELAXING DAYS IN NATURE ARE NOT OUR RIGHT. They are a favour that nature itself grants us, it welcomes us and hosts us by offering  the best of itself. When you go away, take your waste with you and dispose of it in the appropriate bins, in the nearest town or at home, in the city. Do not leave a horrible memory of yourself in those woods, lakes and meadows that have treated you so well. (PHOTOS BY G. MUSUMECI)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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