On Etna, and in particular in the "core zone" (zone A of the Etna Natural Park) of the UNESCO Site "Mount Etna", the vegetation is very unique because of the particular environmental conditions. The volcano activity with frequent production of pyroclastic material and new lava flows; the climate conditions that make the dynamic processes of the vegetation slower, have selected the species present, some of which are endemic, exclusive to the volcano. The Nuova Gussonea botanical garden hosts the species present on the Etna and constitutes the most relevant collection of the biodiversity of Etna's flora. The Garden falls within the Regional State Property, in zone "B" of the Park and is included in the Site of the Nature Network 2000 "ITA070012, Pineta di Adrano Biancavilla".See more
Monte Nero degli Zappini
It is the first nature trail created in the Park and it develops entirely within the Forestry Property: departure and arrival at the plateau west of Monte Vetore, Etna Sud (1,740m). It is not a particularly difficult walk. Length about 4 Km - Height difference 200 m. Eleven Observation Points through ancient and recent lava fields (1985 - 2001), lava flow caves, hornitos, â€ścannon-shaped" stones, wooded formations, imposing pines. Inside you can visit the Botanical Garden "New Gussonea".See more
In the heart of the Etna Park, in contrada Serra la Nave, in the area of Piano Vetore, there is the Mario Girolamo Fracastoro seat of the Astrophysical Observatory of Catania of INAF (National Institute of Astrophysics). The observatory, at an altitude of 1725 meters above sea level, houses the telescopes for professional astrophysics placed at the highest altitude on the national territory.
The scientific tradition in the field of astronomy at the foot of the volcano is ancient, already in 1788 the "Siculorum Gimnasium", University of Catania, established the course of Astronomy. Among the most illustrious teachers we remember Prof. Francesco Gambino. The course of "Astrophysics", among the first in Europe to address the study of the stars with the tools of physics, was established in 1890 and entrusted to Prof. Annibale RiccĂ˛.See more