Sicily and its islands are famous for their beautiful landscapes. Crystalline sea, amazing beaches, mountains and… volcanos! From the Mount Etna to the Aeolian Islands, Sicilian Secrets make you discover two of these natural wonders, halfway between history and legends.
Volcanos, what an incredible power! They represent the strongest side of the nature, are scaring but enchanting at the same time. Sicily is characterized by many volcanos, some of them are dormant, others are still very active. They have been used in movies and literature, a lot of legends have been inspired by these mysterious locations. Are you curious? Let’s start our journey to the center of the Earth!
When we talk about volcanos, the king is just one: Etna. It stands on the east coast of Sicily and is one of the world’s most active. In the past, many historians told about its violent eruptions such as the Roman poet Virgil, who gave a first-hand description of an eruption in the Aeneid. Mount Etna and its gorgeous park are for sure one of the main tourist attractions in Sicily because of the diversity you can experience in each season: snow and skiing in winter, hiking in spring, relax in summer. Thousands of visitors enjoy Etna up to the crater area at 2,929 meters. Do you know that in June 2013 it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites?
But this massive volcano is well-known because of the legends about it. According to Greek mythology, for example, Zeus trapped the monster Typhon right under this mountain, and the forges of Hephaestus, Venus’ husband, were said to also be located underneath it.
In 2002-2003 a large eruption and the consequent seismic activity totally destroyed the tourist station called Piano Provenzana and part of the station Etna Sud, on the south flank. Lucasfilm, the movie company founded by the director George Lucas, recorded the footage from the eruptions to mix them into the landscape of the planet Mustafar in the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
Stromboli is one of the Aeolian Islands and contains one of the three active volcanos in Italy. Because of its continuous eruptions that enlighten the island in the darkness, it is also known as the Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.
Do you know how many people live there? About 500! The main villages are San Vincenzo, Ficogrande and Piscità. On the southern side of Stromboli there’s Ginostra, the smallest village, where the only means of transportation is the mule.
Every year, a lot of tourists visit the island and enjoy the sea, the characteristic black sand and take part in some excursions to discover also the other Aeolian Islands. Stromboli became very popular thanks to the movie Stromboli, land of God directed by Roberto Rossellini (1949) with Ingrid Bergman.
Stromboli inspired also some writers such as Jules Verne and J.R.R. Tolkien. The conclusion of the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) by Verne is set on the island and, according to the American scholar Clyde S. Kilby, Tolkien identified the fictional volcano Mount Doom in Mordor in The Lord of the Rings, with the volcano of Stromboli.
If you want to discover more about these spots and explore them in person, take a look at the tours by Dimensione Sicilia. Your next holiday is around the corner!