Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Etna (now locally called Monte Gibello) is a lofty volcanic mountain of Sicily, in the province of Catania, on the east coast. Although it has the appearance of being isolated, it is in reality connected by a ridge with the general mountain system which runs from east to west along the northern coast of the mountain, and is a continuation of the Italian chain. The ancients fabled it as the prison of Enceladus and Python, and also as the workshop of Vulcan and the Cyclopes, whose labours and restlessness gave rise to the volcanic manifestations and earthquakes. The first recorded eruption took place in the time of Pythagoras, since when there have been very many at varying intervals, and the volcano was in eruption in July, 1892, to the great dread of the province, which has often suffered severely from both eruptions and earthquakes. The crater at the top has often changed its place. The mount, from the point of view of climate, may be divided into three belts, the lowest of which is very fertile. The middle belt used to be covered with fine forests of beech, chestnut, oak, and pine; and the highest region is almost desert, and is covered for great part of the year with snow. The summit is at a height of 10,960 feet.