Standing approximately 3,350 m, Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe. The vast area that surrounds it (approx. 1,260 km2), which comprises 20 municipalities of the province of Catania, is part of the Etna Park, established to protect a natural environment, unique in its wealth of forest, floral and animal heritage, and the surrounding countryside, which displays the presence of man.
Fruit orchards and vines grow on the slopes of the volcano while woods of chestnut, pine, beech, and birch cluster closer to the summit. At the highest levels, no life form takes hold on the most recent layers of lava: the only vegetation is lichen and moss.