We had an amazing full day tour, despite the rainy October day.
We were very fortunate to have been the only two people on the tour, so my wife and I felt like we were being taken on a very personal tour by a family friend. Florina is very passionate about Etna, the plants, wildlife and life in general. She picked us up in Catania and was very informative and chatty as we drove to Etna. She speaks excellent English, punctuated by "allora" or "quindi ...".
As I mentioned, it was a bit of a damp day, chilly and Misty on the mountain. Even though we couldn't see the peak, it was really other worldly and mystical up there. Etna Excursion had parkas and rain gear in the van - we needed it. On our way down from the craters, it really started to pour. We saw other tours that clearly didn't equip their guests and they looked miserable.
We toured the cave and gad a great lunch. The gorges were closed that day due to the rain, but Florina was determined to find and alternate way for us to see them, which led to another hike and nature lesson. We also learned a lot about the people of the region, the history and culture.
In short, it was great way to spend the day and get a feel for Etna, the natural environment and her people. More