MT. ETNA’S snowy roof is perpetually in view from anywhere on Sicily’s east side. Around 430 BC, the Greek philosopher Empedocles is said to have thrown himself into the fires of Mt. Etna. The reasons why he did this vary, but the common theme is that he wanted to prove he was a god.
Etna Sud (Rifugio Sapienza) is the southern access point of Europe’s largest volcano; arrive early to avoid tour buses. One option to reach the summit is a combination of cable car and 4×4 bus; this option would also run you several Euros and give you no sense of accomplishment.
If you want to hoof it on your own, layer up as the weather can change very fast. The elevation difference from the bottom to the point where the 4×4 bus drops its load off is 1000 meters. It’s a couple hundred more meters climb to a couple of smoking craters which can be closely inspected (depending, of course, on volcanic activity).
The highest peak, at 3329 meters, is inaccessible without proper climbing gear (and recommended guide).