On Etna slopes you can find more than 200 lava flow caves. They have been used since antiquity as holy places, burial and refuges for travellers to Etna.
One of the most beautiful eruptive caves in Etna, the “Grotta delle Palombe” (the Doves Grotto) was formed in the historical eruption of 1669 and still represents a mysterious cavity for visitors arriving on the volcano.
In 1823, Mario Gemmellaro, together with an Englishman John Marshall, was the first who plunged into the dangerous cave, to a depth of 120 mt under the “Monti Rossi “ (Red Mountains). He left a stone which is still there and reading the following quote: "Marius Gemmellarus primus ima haec in tartara venit".
The access to the cave is located in the center of the eruptive crater and is reached through a zigzag trail that was made at that time by Mario Gemmellaro.
Easy – the itinerary has a low level of danger, it hasn’t any tecnical difficulty, without bottlenecks, the visiting time is within 3 hours (included the approach)
|Difference in altitude||8 m|
|Recommended clothing||technical clothing|
|Height||838 meters above sea level|