The Crateri Silvestri, also known as the Silvestri Craters, are two volcanic cones located on the southeastern slope of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. They were formed during the 1892 eruption of the volcano, which created a series of fissures on its slopes, leading to the formation of lava flows that eventually cooled and solidified into the two cones.
The Silvestri Craters are named after the Silvestri family, who owned the land on which they were formed. The cones are located at an altitude of around 1,900 meters above sea level and are easily accessible from the main road that leads to the Etna South Rifugio. You can park your car at a designated parking area and walk up to the cones to get a closer look.
One of the Silvestri Craters is known as Monte Silvestri Superiore (Upper Silvestri Mountain) while the other is called Monte Silvestri Inferiore (Lower Silvestri Mountain). The two cones are separated by a small depression and are surrounded by volcanic ash and cinder. The area around the cones is also home to several lava tubes, formed during the 1892 eruption.
You can visit the lower crater in its entirety either from above or by entering inside. The upper crater, on the other hand, is more inaccessible because you need to hike up a steep slope. At the top, you will admire an impressive sight: the lower crater with its reddish colours and in the distance the panorama of the Gulf of Catania.
The Silvestri Craters offer you a unique opportunity to witness the geological forces that shape the earth, as well as the beauty and power of one of the world’s most active volcanoes. You can observe the unique features of the volcanic cones, including the steep slopes and the rugged terrain, and learn about the geological history of the area.
It is important to note that while the Silvestri Craters are a popular tourist destination, Mount Etna is an active volcano, and its eruptions can be unpredictable. You should always follow the guidance of local authorities and expert guides, and be aware of any warning signs or alerts related to volcanic activity.