In 2021 part of the mountain refuge has been acquired by Etna Republic which organizes exclusive Tours on the Etna. Rifugio Santa Barbara is therefore proposed as a landmark of the southwest side of Etna. Starting from the altitude of 1750 meters above sea level, the tours are conducted by Volcanological Guides or Alpine Guides who are qualified and regularly enrolled in the Collegio Regionale delle Guide Alpine e Vulcanologiche della Sicilia.
The Guides live daily on the volcano and know the geological peculiarities as well as the stories that create the indissoluble bond between the Etna and its people. In addition to having a detailed knowledge of the area we are professionals specialized in the approach of eruptive phenomena, ensuring the mitigation of the volcanic risk related to the tours.
Come with us to discover the secrets of the Etna: trails and tours from an altitude of 1750 meters.
Francesco CiancittoVolcanological Guide
We want to enhance the territory through proper information.
Passion is our key to understanding, what animates and pushes us to do our job better and better every day. We are Alpine and Volcanological Guides and we are qualified interlocutors for tours on the south-west side of Etna. We believe in our work and we offer a selection of tours through a continuous research of the territory. We make the most of what surrounds us by using the experience of years, meetings and places to pass on to our children.
All tours are conducted by Volcanological Guides or Alpine Guides enabled and regularly enrolled in the Collegio Regionale delle Guide Alpine e Vulcanologiche della Sicilia, the only professional figures recognized by the Italian authorities for the conduct of groups in ascensions and excursions on volcanoes (Law January 2, 1989, n.6 and subsequent Regional Law n.28 of 06/04/1996).
The Guides live daily on the volcano and know the geological peculiarities as well as the stories that make the indissoluble bond between Etna and its people. In addition to having a detailed knowledge of the area, the guides also are professionals specialists in approaching the eruptive phenomena, ensuring the mitigation of volcanic risk related to the excursion. Please note that tours in the active areas of the volcano always present a percentage of unavoidable risk.
The person in charge of Etna Republic guide group is the Volcanological Guide F. Ciancitto and their base point has been established at the historic Rifugio Santa Barbara, located at about 1750m altitude in Piano Vetore, at the foot of Etna's summit craters.
Referent for Etna Republic. Since 2017 he is Volcanological Guide of the Collegio Regionale delle Guide Alpine e Vulcanologiche della Sicilia.
Francesco Ciancitto is born from Sicilian parents in Chiavenna in 1979, where he spent a few years of his childhood. Grown up in Catania, where he graduated in 2006 in electronic engineering, he cultivates the passion for the mountains starting from his home, the Etna. In 2009 he reconciles his studies with his passion by starting to collaborate with INGV at the Osservatorio Etneo of Catania, with tasks related to volcanic monitoring of the Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano. In 2018 he obtained the PhD in Applied Electronics with a thesis on volcanic monitoring systems using thermal cameras.
What they say about me
Mountain biking and hiking trips take him to Iceland several times and allow him to overlook the volcanoes of Indonesia and the Canary Islands. He lives with passion the Etna and its people, spending most of his time in search of the lesser known corners of the volcano, plowing through the lava flows that have marked the time of the various generations, touching the past: in summer with boots, in winter with skis.