Italy
Nicolosi

Here you’ll find travel reports about Nicolosi. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

13 travelers at this place:

  • Day241

    Mount Etna

    February 22, 2017 in Italy

    Having seen stunning views of Mount Etna, Vicky was raring to visit it. From near sea level, we said our goodbyes to our GB friends and drove the van up the side of the volcano (which turned out to be pretty steep in places) to the top car park at a height of 1918m above sea level.

    As we approached, the outline of the volcano grew larger and larger against the sky and eventually the summit dissappeared behind the closer peaks. When we passed the snow line, we saw the layers of black sooty ash that had been recently dumped on top of the white snow. The bright white was contrasted severely against the reddish black of the basalt poking through in ridges that ran downhill.

    The air was tinged with a sulphurous smell which we are blaming on Etna because we definitely emptied and cleaned the toilet just a few hours previously!

    It was again, a clear day and the views from the car park alone were amazing. However, being over a mile high did take its toll; between us we had heart palpitations and a headache, the plastic bottles expanded because of the drop in air pressure and the fridge wouldn't light.

    After lunch we went to get our tickets for the cable car. They were €30 each which was expensive, but we really wanted to get closer. Approaching the building that looked as if it sold tickets, a woman asked Vicky if we had bought any yet. It turned out that she and the person she was with had finished skiing and were offering us their tickets for free! We couldn't thank them enough!

    The cable car took us past smaller craters that were outlined beautifully in the snow. At 2500m we stepped out of the station onto the white slopes. We felt exhilarated from the trip up and where we were; we'd both learned about Mount Etna in school but never dreamed at the time we would actually visit.

    We had about an hour and a half to spend up there. We'd read that minibusses could take you even closer to the active crater, but with the snow covering, it didn't look like this was possible. We'd also read that paths to the summit were clearly marked but this wasn't the case either so we set off hiking up the ski slope. We walked to just above a small crater - the highest either of us have ever been on land.

    Will thought he felt the ground trembling and we both heard deep rumbles followed by small plumes of smoke emitting from the top along with the ever present steam. It was a positively overwhelming experience to be up there and it was with some reticence that we took the last cable car run down to the car park again.

    On our way back, we did a double take at a camper van, at which point we heard someone asking whether we were the other British camper vanners? It turned out Peter and Carmelle were a couple the Grey Gappers had told us about who were travelling with their rabbit! We decided to stay at ' base camp' overnight and set off to explore a larger crater near the car park. There were 5 foot deep holes in the snow along its ridge and a few people were tobogganing down to its core, but Vicky sensibly managed to restrain Will from doing likewise. Stray dogs were sunning themselves on the south facing slope and looked quite happy and healthy with the plentiful supply of food they had from year round tourists.

    Sunset over the side of the volcano brushed the cloud layer below with gold, then pink that spread to tint the sky behind the snow covered crater we'd walked on earlier. Overnight the wind picked up and blasted the van with grit filled gusts. The temperature went down to 4°C but felt much colder with the wind chill factor. It was, despite the lack of sleep, one of the most amazing places we've ever stayed.
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  • Day5

    Vulkanoloogia muuseum

    October 8, 2016 in Italy

    Käisime Etna muuseumis. See oli seest pool restoran. Alguses saime 20min videot, mis seletas Etna ajaloo kohta ja selle vulkaani iseloomu kohta. Ning hiljem siis noor tüdruk seletas kōike lisaks ja näitas asju. Etna on rahulik/voolav vulkaan, sest tema see keskvärk mis muliseb ja möllab on tipule lähedal ning sinna ei teki siis nii palju survet. Samuti, et probleemiks ei ole inimestele magma vaid maavärinad, mis purustavad maju. Magma üldiselt ei jōua kunagi linnadesse, mis seal ümber on. Väga äge oli see.Read more

  • Day5

    Etna otsas

    October 8, 2016 in Italy

    Otsustasime siiski, et läheme üles ja kōnnime vulkaani peal. Kuna purskamise ajal tekib tavaliselt kuni 9 väiksemat auku kust ka laavat voolab, siis me kõndisime ühele augule ringi peale. Ühest küljest oli kõik must ja puhus kuum tuul, kas siis päike küttis kuumaks või viimasest mai purskest oli maa veel kuum. Igast teistest küljest puhus külm ja tugev tuul.

    Huvitav krõbisev pinnas oli, see vulkaaniline kivi on nagu aeroki kivi hästi auguline, kerge ja üpris õrn.Read more

  • Day30

    A tale of a volcano - Etna

    September 18, 2017 in Italy

    After another substantial and delicious breakfast we headed out to a designated meeting point for our “Etna Excursion”. A small minivan arrived promptly at 9am and we met Doctor Manuel Paulo – a Vulconologist and geologist from the Italian Seismic Institute along with well our 5 fellow participants (3 mates from Greece and a couple from Israel – interestingly all our age or older). Manuel proved an amazing guide. The 40 minute drive to the highest village on the north side of Etna (Milo) was simply filled with information about Volcanos in general and Etna in Particular. We learned for example that Etna is a fairly young volcano (in geological terms) having popped up out of the sea some 250,000 years ago, filling in what was a huge bay in the prehistoric Sicily. It has 4 top cones one of which is very unpredictable in its behaviour having gained 300m in altitude in the last few years. Etna erupts from the top on a regular basis – showering the local villages with ash and dust several times per year – however given that the top of the volcano is at 3,300 and the villages are not permitted above the 1000m line this is considered little more than an inconvenience. Etna also erupts laterally quite often, the last major incident being in 2002 – this can involve months (or even years) of lava flow from the lateral vent – however as lava is generally very slow moving it is, again, considered more of an inconvenience than a danger as it rarely impacts on villages as mostly these eruptions occur well above the 1000m line. However having said all this Manuel explained that unlike many other volcano’s (Vesuvius for example) Etna is generally considered a very predicable and “safe volcano” having an open vent, it is not likely to explode unexpectedly and can be (an is) easily monitored – indeed Manuel explained that when he is not living his gypsy life guiding on volcano’s all around the world – does measurements and predictions for the Italian Government.
    A brief toilet and further chat stop in Milo and then we were off in to the Etna national park. Our first stop was a lava flow from the 1970’s we were able to see the beginning of regeneration of this flow with plants starting to take hold here and there. We walked on the flow and Manuel explained about the nature and behaviour of lava flows – how they are slow moving – a few metres per hour and have a crust that (in Etna’s case) means you can stand within inches of the lava and feel nothing more than a “bit warm” – indeed we were shown how a flow passed within inches of a tree and didn’t set it on fire, indeed didn’t even bother it as it was still alive and healthy. Next, we were taken to the 2002 flow so that we could contrast how sterile and dessert like the newer flow was compared to the older one. It was interesting to see how one moment you would be standing in 600year old forest (from the last time it was destroyed by lava), then suddenly you would be on a sterile black dessert, then crossing the space of 20m you were back in 600-year-old forest.
    We continued on and had the opportunity to climb a series of lateral craters (the top craters require a high level of fitness and many hours trekking as the road does not extend beyond 1800m and thus the climb is a further 1500m. The craters we visited were at about 2200 m and afforded an amazing view of both Etna and the surrounding area. They were part of a “chain” or “bottle” of lateral craters extending down the side of the volcano which erupted in the 1860’s. Once the lateral vents have erupted however they seal off forever as the lava in these lateral tubes solidifies into basalt, this is in contrast to the top craters which on Etna remain open (and are hence safer as the gases cannot build up an hence risk the catastrophic explosion which is the concern for Vesuvius) due to the continued action of the magma chamber and hence the inability of the lave a to solidify.
    Manuel also shared amazing local knowledge of plants and animals and how they had adapted to the local conditions – there are a number of Etna specific species – a type of Birch for example, a grasshopper that is black like the volcanic rock and sand, a type of Broom and a variant of the Jägermeister plant that grows taller and has longer flower stalks as an adaptation to the dark, rocky soil.
    We were also able to visit some of the lava tube caves – these form when the lava flows slowly through a steep gully and the top of the lave crust cools and seals over, the lava then continues to flow down the slope and eventually as it stops flowing from the vent the tube which has formed empties leaving a tunnel or cave. Hundreds of years ago clever locals used these caves for ice – they would pack the caves with snow, compacting it to make ice, in the winter and the insulating properties of the volcanic rock would mean they could “harvest” and sell the ice in the summer – it was a very lucrative business apparently
    Leaving the national park we ventured down to a local winery to taste some of the Etna wines made from the grapes grown in the rich volcanic soil. We tried a white which I thought was ok and then 2 very very nice reds. This was accompanied by antipasto, bread, olives, pasta and tiramisu – delicious! And certainly, more than the light lunch we were expecting. We were also shown the wine making “Cantine” including the bottling machine that can bottle around 1000 bottles per hour! Last stop on the tour (which ended up taking almost 9 hours) was a honey centre – honey is the other major industry on Etna and we were able to taste several varieties – some of which combined pistachios and hazelnuts which are also major crops of the region. With full stomachs and fuller brains we returned to Cantania – indeed we were so “overloaded” that we decided that a evening stroll to the supermarket (to buy deodorant, toothpaste and a drink) was all we needed!
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  • Day4

    Etna

    September 6, 2017 in Italy

    Steile Serpentinen, unfähige Busfahrer im Gegenverkehr und Klischeeblondinen in Sachen Parken verzögerten den Besuch auf dem Etna. Endlich angekommen - kurze Enttäuschung: Auf Bettinas Frage, wer denn mit der Seilbahn (Cablecar) noch weiter hoch möchte: Funkstille im Bus. 😱 Ein nettes Pärchen aus Wilkau - Haßlau rettete die Situation und mir den Tag. Kurzum: Für entspannte 30 Euronen ging es mit dem Cablecar auf 2500 Meter Höhe. 🙈 Wenn man sich auf die Aussicht konzentriert und die baulichen, sowie technischen Gegebenheiten ignoriert- gehts schon. Oben angekommen kann man eine ( gutes Wetter vorausgesetzt) spektakuläre Aussicht genießen... Mit Zeit und Geld kann man noch auf 3000 Meter Höhe... Mit Mercedes' Unimoc.. sicher ein tolles Erlebnis... 😍 Wagemutige fuhren mit dem Rad oder Quad. Gegen 19:00 Uhr waren wir zurück im Hotel- beladen mit traumhaft schönen Eindrücken vom Tag. Nach einem opulenten Abendessen ging es noch zum Entertainment an die Beachbar. Nach Gin Tonic und Vodka Lemon findet man auch das auf sämtliche Touristen zugeschnitte Abendprogramm lustig. 🥂😄 In diesem Sinne: Jamas. Oder so ähnlich. PS: Als Blondine ist man hier der Renner- sämtliche Getränke bekomme ich billiger, der Chefkoch bastelt mir Serviettenrosen und der Barmanager ist kurz davor, mich zu heiraten. 😂Read more

  • Day7

    Abenteuer ETNA

    September 4 in Italy

    Wir sind heute morgen zum Etna aufgebrochen.
    Vom Parkplatz auf ca. 1900m Höhe sind wir bis zu 2750 Höhenmetern hochgewandert. Momentan hat der Vulkan eine ungefähre Größe von 3000m, da er aber ziemlich aktiv ist, ist es nicht möglich bis zum Hauptkrater zu gelangen.
    Hoch gelaufen sind wir auf direktem Weg, sind also nicht die "Straße" gelaufen; hat ca 3 1/2h gedauert, mit ein paar Pausen.
    Es war schonziemlich beeindruckend auf einem aktiven Vulkan zu sein, die Aussicht war fantastisch und das Wetter hat gut mitgespielt!
    Auch wenn es unten im Dorf ca 30°C waren, war es oben auf dem Etna doch deutlich kälter und sehr windig. Die Sonne brannte dennoch vom Himmel, das darf man nicht unterschätzen. Insgesamt ein tollen Erlebnis und ein Muss auf Sizilien!♡
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Nicolosi

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