I always loved to surprise friends from various parts of the world, when I said I was skiing at Catania; they all looked at me with a very surprised expression, and always the same question: what? You have snow in Sicily? You’re not afraid of the explosions?
Well yes; we have the highest volcano in Europe at 3343 meters, and despite the bad weather, inefficient management of the structures, and the destruction and reconstruction of the facilities, you can ski on an active volcano! From the 50’s on ‘Etna, there are two districts: Nicolosi on the south between 1910-2700 meters and that of Provenzana Plans, and Lingfield on the north side of Etna between 1800-2317 meters.
The first area, which is larger, stretching from Nicolosi up to 2,700 meters in Montagnola, including a six-seater gondola, a double chairlift and three ski lifts on slopes (3 red and 1 blue), for alpine skiing. It is possible to reach the main ski slopes at different altitudes on different tracks:
– By cable car you can reach the track “Little haven” at an altitude of 2,500 m (2,700 m length – 580 m difference in altitude – track red);
– With chairlift to 2142 m altitude (865 m length of the track – track red);
– With the little lifts you reach 2,294 m altitude (1,992 m length of the track – track red);
– Montagnola part from an altitude 2,500 m up to 2,604 m altitude.
The second area preserves Linguaglossa Etna Nord Piano Provenzana is equipped with a quad chairlift and three ski lifts serving 4 red runs and 2 blue for descent.
While Nicolosi the side is devoid of vegetation, pine forests cover Provenzana where they can enjoy the Ionian sea.
You can also enjoy Nordic skiing and nature trails, designated by the park, and the forest to Vetore Floor (near Nicolosi), Piano Provenzana in the ring and in the territory of Maletto.
L ‘Etna has a radius of 20 km and has a conical shape that delivers, on all sides, numerous ski-mountaineering opportunities. The area of the four summit craters can be reached either by Etna both from Etna Nord to the height of over 3300 meters. You can also go off-piste, favored by the absence of crevasses and avalanches, or be led on the northern slope with snow cat and ski down.
At the foot of Etna, in Monteserra park there is the Skistadium, an artificial track in plastic, open all year.
How to reach Etna from Bed & Breakfast Globetrotter Catania:
By car: you can reach the south side to the north in 1 hour or 1 hour and 30 minutes.
By bus: from the central station you can take a bus that leaves at 8:15 (winter) and a second bus that leaves at 11:00 (summer only). Return is by a single bus only at 16:00.