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Could you ever deny a child a run on the snow, the tumbles on that soft white coat? How could you spend the winter without let them feel the wonderful contact with this magical element of nature? But bringing children to the snow, for you adults, is not just fun; there is also a considerable responsibility. On Mount Etna, which is a volcano, the responsibility is also double. The territory of Etna is made of lava stone, a hard rock full of sharp points. Making tumbles in the snow with this danger below the mantle is not advisable. Or maybe yes?

The basic rules for going on the snow with children

There are basic rules for those who go on the snow with their children. They are universal rules, which apply both to the Dolomites and to Mount Etna or Mount Vesuvius! First, you need to cover them well, to prevent them from getting cold. But we must also avoid sweating, so dressing them “in layers” is ideal, so as to remove a jacket or sweatshirt when they run and put them back if they stop.

Secondly, we need to find safe places. The snow must be compact but not hard or too soft, possibly not too steep, with plenty of free space around. Better if they are fenced places. If they learn to ski, make sure that the first lessons take place in well-kept areas and with competent instructors. Finally … avoid being suffocating and even let them run and fall! It’s fun on the snow.

Children on the snow of Etna

The safest places to entertain your children on the snow of Mt.Etna are Piano del Vescovo or the Silvestri Craters. They are both located on the southern flank of Etna, on the road that leads to Rifugio Sapienza. Piano del Vescovo is a spacious area that leads into a forest and that at the beginning is provided with a small picnic area.

etna neve1The Silvestri Craters are extinct craters around which catering facilities have arisen. Children can explore the smaller crater, less sloping, or play in the open spaces in front of the bars and restaurants. From the nearby Rifugio Sapienza you enter the cableway station and for the bravest you can also climb to the top, but only by relying on expert guides.

On the north side of Etna, near the Piano Provenzana facilities, it is nice to take the children to play in the snow. There is also a ski school, which includes lessons for children entrusted to trained instructors. But for those who just want to make snowballs and puppets, in the surrounding areas the squares and small woods also lend themselves to some slips on the homemade sledges!

At Piano Provenzana you can also eat at the Monte Conca restaurant or the bar near the chair lift. On the same street that leads to Piano Provenzana there are the Pineta Ragabo and the Rifugio Citelli. Here maybe the snow will not be  that high but it will be funny to discover it in the middle of the pine woods or the Etna birches.

Excursions for children on Etna

If you want to rely on expert guides, even during the winter season, there are several tour operator that plan excursions for children on Mt.Etna. You can do this naturally also by contacting us at Go Etna or at individual specialized volcanological guides. After bringing your children to the safest areas to enjoy the snow and all the activities you can do with it, the guides will take the little ones to discover some fairytale wonders that arise right on our volcano.

The Lava Museum of Viagrande, the Volcano House of Nicolosi where it will be possible to better know these particular mountains and admire the eruptions in the videos. Or an obligatory passage to one of the two Adventure Parks: the first in the territory of Milo, on the eastern side, the other in Nicolosi on the south side, near the splendid pine forest of Monti Rossi (Monti Rossi Adventure). It will be interesting, coming down again to the valley, to stop and discover the theme park Sicilia in Miniatura or the Teatro dei Miti in Zafferana Etnea.

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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