Facts and figures
The Etna is with a height of about 3,350 m above sea level. d. M. the highest volcano in Europe. This stratovolcano covers an area of approx. 1,250 km² and has hundreds of secondary craters. Located on the Italian island of Sicily, it also towers over the Mediterranean, the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas and Calabria. In terms of the number of eruptions in historical times, Etna is the most active volcano in the world. Due to its relatively thin lava, it is not one of the explosive volcanoes. Still, clouds of gas and ash can rise up to 3 miles into the sky.
How do you get to the area?
Travel to Sicily to Mount Etna is made by tourists from Italy and around the world. On study trips, interested parties are shown the diversity of the volcano and its history, and the volcano museum in Nicolosi is usually visited.
The journey to the valley station of the cable car can be made by car or coach on paved roads. Here at about 1,900 m above sea level. d. M. is a tourist center with restaurants and souvenir shops. A cable car takes tourists to the mountain station “La Montagnola” at an altitude of approx. 2,500 m above sea level. d. If you want to go further up, you should be equipped with sturdy shoes and windproof clothing. With special off-road vehicles it goes almost to the crater rim at 2,900 m above sea level. d. In compliance with the safety regulations, mountain guides take visitors to interesting viewpoints from which the vitality of the volcano can be observed. With a little luck, you can look into one of the four summit craters.
On the north side of the volcano there are several lava grottoes that are unique on mainland Europe. The longest grotto, the “Grotta die Lamponi”, which can be explored, is approx. 700 m long. In the nature reserve “Parco dell Etna” there are many paths that can be explored on foot or by mountain bike.
The Etna volcano has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2013. Visiting the most active volcano in the world is safe and a little adventure.
Pisa Cathedral Square
Whether traveling through Italy or on study trips: a visit to Pisa Cathedral Square is simply worthwhile. Here you can not only relax and marvel at the lush green of the meadows, but also visit some of the most famous buildings in the country.
Cathedral Square or Square of Miracles
The Pisans call the place on which the cathedral “Santa Maria Assunta” rises like “Piazza dei Miracoli”, that is, the place of miracles. The name goes back to a work by the writer Gabriele D’Annunzio, who described the cathedral square as a wonder meadow. And the expression “place of miracles” seems to be entirely justified. After all, the cathedral “Santa Maria Assunta” is not only the largest baptistery in the world, but also its free-standing bell tower, its so-called campanile. It is better known as the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” and it borders on a miracle that the symbol of Tuscany has not fallen over to this day. All the buildings on Pisa Cathedral Square are made of white Carrara marble, which gives it a very special shine.
The cathedral “Santa Maria Assunta”
One reason for visiting the cathedral square in Pisa is the imposing cathedral “Santa Maria Assunta”. Its construction began in 1063. It was not properly completed until more than three centuries later than in 1380 the towering dome was completed. Inside the church, the central nave is delimited by brilliant columns. The walls are decorated with decorative arcade patterns. The high coffered ceilings of the church are also an eye-catcher. But there is another reason why you should definitely pay a visit to Pisa Cathedral Square.
The leaning tower
The cathedral’s campanile is also made entirely of white marble and therefore blends in harmoniously with the overall appearance of the square. The leaning tower is not only one of the most popular photo opportunities in Italy. You should also dare to climb the tower. From up there you have a wonderful view over large parts of Pisa, which you shouldn’t miss.
Franciscan Church Sta. Croce
The Franciscan Church of Sta. Croce is one of the most important sights of the Italian metropolis of Florence and is also the oldest Gothic church in the city. The so-called “Pantheon of Florence” is one of the largest Franciscan churches in the entire country. Legend has it that St. Francis of Assisi personally laid the foundation stone for the church in 1295.
Valuable works of art and famous tombs inside the church
Inside the impressive Franciscan Church of Sta. Croce, on which almost 150 years was built according to the plans of the architect Arnolfo di Cambio, you will not only find countless valuable works of art, but also the high-quality ornate tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo Galilei. In total, the remains of more than 10,000 famous Renaissance personalities can be found in the church. One of the most valuable works of art in the church, which consists of a central nave and two side aisles, is the Cimabue crucifix, which has been painstakingly restored over the centuries. The Franciscan Church of Sta. Croce, which is characterized by a T-shaped floor plan, is visited by thousands of visitors from home and abroad every year. Among other things, they want to see the famous cycles of frescoes on the walls of the Castellani Chapel, which are among the most important medieval paintings in the region. The Franciscan Church of Sta. Croce is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.