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It is something different than skiing in the Alps: try the slope of the active volcano Etna once

Free time Austria, France and Switzerland are the leading ski countries par excellence. More exotic winter sports resorts would also like to be in our favor. Wh

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It is something different than skiing in the Alps: try the slope of the active volcano Etna once
Free time Austria, France and Switzerland are the leading ski countries par excellence. More exotic winter sports resorts would also like to be in our favor. What have they to offer?

The Etna is the most active volcano in Europe. Can yet at the end of december to march skiing. The area is small, but the view of the smoking volcano is spectacular. From the Sicilian town of Linguaglossa is a winding road where in ten minutes time, the olive trees give way to snow-covered pine trees. On the north side of the volcano are today four of the five ski lifts open. For that reason, cost of a day pass for 30 euro, instead of the usual 35 euros. For 25 euro you can rent ski boots and skis. The prices of the coffee are like any bar in Italy: a euro for an espresso, and for 20 cents more, give them a cappuccino.

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Especially in the weekends with a blue sky and a good amount of snow to walk the waiting times considerably. A lift attendant looks up with pinched eyes upward, to the top of the Etna, where a winding plume of smoke comes out. “According to me is the smoke again, darker. Now but hope that those to the south, different colors, all the slopes are gray again. Yet less beautiful.’ To the south the wind can mean that the airport of Catania, in the issues would come. Should regularly review the air traffic control the air traffic down because the Etna lava and ash spits out.

The Etna is a special but also uncertain winter sports destination. Artificial snow cannons are not there and the snow is regularly pushed up by the hard winds around the volcano slopes. Preparation of slopes is, therefore, difficult. The ski lifts are quite old and therefore slow, but the view is boring not: on the one hand, the puffing Etna (with of 3,300 metres, the highest volcano in Europe), on the other side of the Ionian sea, a half hour's drive away. At the end of march, it is even possible to start the day with a few ski slopes with real snow and the afternoon at the beach.

money

a major eruption in 2002, there were twice as many slopes. The Etna devastated when a cable car and a number of restaurants and hotels. Ugo Esposito runs the hotel and information centre Clan dei ragazzi, located on the north side of the mountain. “That eruption, we are here still not to the top. It is a shame, but there is no money to restore all files. There is no public funding, and investors are afraid.’

In the spring and summer there are daily excursions on the Etna, about 1,500 people per day visit the park. As a winter tourist destination, it is mainly Sicilians that the volcano visit. Ugo: “There are currently too few opportunities. With a few runs extra would it be more worth it to get on the plane. The journey is now for many people too far and too expensive.” However, something seems to change. In 2020, a brand new, state of the art cable car start to turn, financed by private investors.

After the eruption in 2002, there is also no bar or restaurant on the slopes more. Esposito: “you're really money with it. Look how full we are. Look how full the restaurant at the bottom of the piste. People will have enough and Sicilians cut back not eat.” At restaurant Monte Conca, there is indeed a queue of up to three hours for a table. Waiters slalommen between the crowded tables with steaming plates of pasta, porcini mushrooms and varkenspoten. Also here, the prices are a pittance compared to winter sports regions in the Alps. At four o'clock the restaurant is always jam-packed with lunchende families. The ski lifts are just stopped. The reddish-orange sky framed by the still smoking mount Etna.

Although he is an active volcano, the Etna, not really dangerous. In forty years he made thirteen victims. The inhabited world is at a safe distance from the crater. At the end of december was Sicily was startled by a number of earthquakes that followed the eruption. The heaviest had a strength of 4.8 on the Richter scale.

But Ugo Esposito sees the activity of the Etna in no way a problem. “Of course, some entrepreneurs might be afraid to a restaurant on the Etna to build, but those images of eruptions are so spectacular. Who go all over the world and in every language to understand. And it costs us not a cent on publicity. Does the Etna for us.”

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