I’ve been interested in volcanos and earthquakes since I was a child and always been fascinated by the continual eruption of Mount Etna so took the opportunity to go and have a look at the mountain while I was in the area.

My first foray up the mountain to the BYCB informal concert in Aci San Antonio ended in me driving back to the hotel with my tail between my legs as I failed to find the venue, such is the paucity of Sicilian roadsigns off the main autostrade.

We took some time out on our way to the concert in Ortigia to go up Etna. It was a hot day at sea level and I was dressed for warmth. It was warm enough as we drove up the slopes of the mountain that dominates North Eastern Sicily and the route was lushly decorated with short pines and the beautiful yellow of the local broom species.

The contrast with the vegetation and temperature at the top was stark and I was glad to be able to hire a jacket at the top of the ski lift. It is such a barren, lunar landscape at the top, and difficult to distinguish between wisps of cloud and steam from the eruption. At night, the red glow from the erupting crater is visible for miles around.