I remember when I first arrived in Sicily. I got shocked immediately after I got off the plane at the Catania airport. The temperature! It was July. I was flying from London, where 3 hours earlier I was getting wet in the rain and the temperature was no higher than 15 °C. That moment was beautiful! I could not breathe and was about to faint, but it is the blissful feeling of the hot and heavy air that I hold in my heart to this day. I love Sicilian heat!
Few minutes later, another shock. Etna! Going from the airport towards Messina, I could see a smoking volcano towering over Catania and other towns at its feet. For me it was something really amazing. ‘How can you live at the foot of this smoking giant?!’ – I was asking myself. It turned out that you can. Now, ironically, I live on the slopes of Etna. I even had the opportunity to look literally inside Etna, visiting various lava tubes and craters. Etna has become my greatest love and passion and today I could not live far from her. Sometimes I happen to drive a car in another city or in another country and instinctively look out the window searching for my volcano. Where Etna, there is my home.
Most people visiting Sicily envy its inhabitants for the endless beaches they find everywhere they look. I won’t lie, in the summer I love to stay on a beach with a book, or snorkle in a crystal water. But not more than one hour. Lying on a beach all day it’s not for me. Etna insted, that’s different story. There I can completely lose myself, forget about the watch and the noise of everyday life. In the summer, I enjoy hiking on the high altitude where the air is clean and fresh. In the autumn, I love picking mushrooms and chestnuts. In the winter, I like skiing and excursions with snowshoes. And then there are occasional eruptions… Every day on Etna is different, depending on the weather, season or my mood. Even though I’m up the mountain almost every day, I discover something new every time I go there. Etna has a huge power and I have fallen into her trap.