Silvestri Craters


The Silvestri Craters are a set of two craters located on the southeastern slope of Mount Etna, one of the world's most active volcanoes. These craters were formed during the 1892 eruption of the volcano and were named after the geologist Orazio Silvestri. The craters are easily accessible and offer a unique opportunity for visitors to witness the power of nature up close.

The two craters are located at an altitude of approximately 1,900 meters above sea level and are part of the Etna Regional Park. The larger of the two craters is around 200 meters in diameter and is filled with ash and small volcanic rocks. The smaller crater, located just a few meters away, is about 100 meters in diameter and is covered in a thick layer of sulfur. Visitors can walk around the rim of the craters and witness steam vents and fumaroles emitting gas and steam. The Silvestri Craters are one of the most popular attractions on Mount Etna and offer a glimpse into the unique geology of the area.

What To See at Silvestri Craters


The Silvestri Craters offer several hiking trails that wind around the craters and provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Checkout: Eruption of Mount Etna

Volcanic landscape

Visitors can witness the unique volcanic landscape of the area, including the ash and rock formations in and around the craters.

Explore Now: Etna Adventure Park

Steam Vents and Fumaroles

The craters are home to several steam vents and fumaroles that emit gas and steam, providing a unique and otherworldly experience.

Also Checkout: Mount Etna Caves National Park

Sulfur Deposits

 The smaller of the two craters is covered in a thick layer of sulfur, which provides a unique opportunity for visitors to see and even touch this mineral.

Do Checkout: Mount Etna Wines

Educational opportunities

The Silvestri Craters offer educational opportunities for visitors to learn about the geology and history of Mount Etna and volcanic activity in general.

Checkout: Mount Etna Cycling

Guided Tours

Guided tours are available for visitors who want to learn more about the Silvestri Craters and the surrounding area. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who can provide insights into the geology, history, and culture of the area.

Also Checkout: Mount Etna Trekking

Tips To Visit

Wear appropriate clothing: Even during the summer months, the weather on Mount Etna can be unpredictable, and temperatures can drop quickly. Wear comfortable and warm clothes, including a waterproof jacket, sturdy shoes, and a hat.

Bring water and snacks: There are no shops or restaurants at Silvestri Craters, so bring plenty of water and some snacks to keep you fueled during your visit.

Respect the environment: Mount Etna is a natural reserve, and Silvestri Craters are a protected area. Make sure to follow the designated trails and avoid littering.

Consider hiring a guide: If you're interested in learning more about the history and geology of Silvestri Craters and Mount Etna, consider hiring a guide. They can provide valuable insights and ensure your safety.

Check for updates: As Mount Etna is an active volcano, access to Silvestri Craters may be restricted due to volcanic activity or weather conditions. Before planning your visit, check for updates from the local authorities.

Be prepared for altitude: Silvestri Craters are located at an altitude of about 1,900 meters above sea level. If you're not used to high altitudes, take it slow and drink plenty of water to avoid altitude sickness.

Know Before You Go

How To Reach:

  • By Car: You can rent a car in Catania and drive to Rifugio Sapienza, which is the starting point for trips to Mount Etna. From there, you can park your car and take a cable car or a 4x4 bus to reach Silvestri Craters.
  • By Bus: There are regular buses from Catania to Rifugio Sapienza. From there, you can take a cable car or a 4x4 bus to reach Silvestri Craters.
  • By Tour: Many tour operators offer guided tours to Mount Etna, including Silvestri Craters. This is a good option if you prefer to have a professional guide and transportation provided.
  • By Foot: If you're feeling adventurous, you can hike to Silvestri Craters from Rifugio Sapienza. However, this option requires a good level of fitness and proper hiking gear.

Best Time To Visit - The best time to visit Silvestri Craters is from May to September when the weather is generally warm and dry. This is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds. If you prefer a quieter experience, you can visit in the shoulder seasons of April or October. However, note that access may be restricted due to weather conditions or volcanic activity.

FAQs For Silvestri Craters

What are Silvestri Craters?

Silvestri Craters are two dormant volcanic cones on the southern slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy. They formed during an eruption in 1892.

Can you hike to Silvestri Craters?

Yes, you can hike to Silvestri Craters from Rifugio Sapienza. However, the trail can be steep and challenging, so it's recommended for experienced hikers.

Is it safe to visit Silvestri Craters?

Yes, it's generally safe to visit Silvestri Craters. However, volcanic activity and weather conditions can affect access and safety, so it's important to follow the latest updates and safety recommendations.

Are Silvestri Craters active?

No, Silvestri Craters are dormant and have not erupted since their formation in 1892. However, Mount Etna is an active volcano, and volcanic activity can affect access to Silvestri Craters.

Is there an entrance fee to Silvestri Craters?

Yes, there is an entrance fee to visit Silvestri Craters. The fee includes access to the cable car and 4x4 bus that take you to the site.

How long does it take to visit Silvestri Craters?

A visit to Silvestri Craters usually takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the activities you choose to do. However, you can spend longer if you decide to hike or explore the area in more detail.

Can I visit Silvestri Craters in winter?

Yes, you can visit Silvestri Craters in winter, but access may be restricted due to snow or other weather conditions. It's always best to check for updates before planning your visit.


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