Nicolosi lies in the shadow of Mt Etna and has come close to lava flows in the past so taking the thought that eruptions don’t occur in the same place twice, we considered it a safe bet to stay there for a couple of nights.
We followed the signs of the Giro riders on the road up the mountain past the black, gravelly mountainside dotted with tufts of green, round, flowering plants.
We ignored previous advice and only packed light clothing but the warning of 4℃ had us in hired jackets.
Up the chairlift, into the Jeeps as they were called, along a winding road, in and out of the clouds to a park near where eruptions occurred in 2001.
Led up the path by the guide, we were told the smoke from the crater was just steam and that there will never be an eruption from this site again. We were pleased on both counts as the steam escaped from everywhere on the path and freezing hands need some way of being warmed. Scratch the ground with a shoe, steam escapes and just warm the hands on the campfire.
We were mildly disappointed not to see the bubbling red stuff but the BBC crew visiting in March still have burns that are healing so we were happy to escape with many photographs and a couple of pebbles in our pocket. I hope it keeps erupting, just a little for Nicolosi’s sake, as there were many who took souvenirs. Soon it’ll be as flat as the Nullabor.
Just a side note on a slip of the tongue:
Someone was heard to say in Pompeii.
“These ruins are amazing. Just look at how well they are preserved. And Mt Vesusius is so close. Just imagine if there was a volcanic erection while we slept tonight in Pompeii!”
That moment should be preserved in stone for thousands of years.