Sicilians co-exist with Europe's largest, most active volcano.
Mt Etna specializes in huge lava flows plus a large number of
cinder cones. Inside each cinder cone is a small crater, such
as the one above. Mt Etna tourism requires access to "safe"
areas of the volcano, far away from the summit, which is
capable of erupting at any time. There was no eruption
during my visit, just horribly strong wind gusts.
Here is the cinder cone which hosts that crater above. You
also get a look at some of Etna's lava, found everywhere in an
area which Sicilians treat as both a national park and tourist
trap. Commercial establishments provide food, drink,
postcards, Etna souvenirs, and shelter from the cold winds.
A trail led to the top of this most impressive cinder cone, but
I lacked both time and energy for such adventure.
Here you can see how an Etna lava flow is covered over by a
relatively new road. At the top has to be a newly built
restaurant and souvenir shop catering to tourist buses. At my
level, one such enterprise was still open, lava having halted
just prior to reaching this now famous structure. Commerce
is winning the battle against Mt Etna's lava in Sicily.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip, "Don
Corleone's Island", by clicking on AdventurePics.com