The Etna Park, the first to be established among the Sicilian Parks with its 59000 hectares has the primary task of protecting a unique natural environment and the extraordinary landscape that surrounds the highest active volcano in Europe and to promote the eco-compatible development of local populations and communities.
With its woods, paths, unrepeatable panoramas, typical products, the historic centers of its municipalities, the Park is a captivating invitation for travelers and lovers of nature, food and wine and sports in every season of the year in the open air in unrepeatable scenarios. The park is a magnificent territory in eastern Sicily, which aims to enhance and protect at the same time this truly unique environment that highlights the strength of a powerful nature, which however also knows how to be very generous with the overflowing fertility of its land., with the mildness and generosity of the “Muntagna”.
The territory has been divided into four zones, which correspond to different levels of protection, as established by the legislator. In the “integral reserve” area (zone “A”), nature is preserved in its integrity, limiting human intervention to a minimum; in the general reserve area (zone “B”), protection is combined with the development of traditional economic activities: it is characterized by small agricultural plots and is marked by splendid examples of ancient peasant houses, very significant examples of rural architecture; in the “controlled development protection” (pre-Park) area consisting of zones “C” and “D”, which is considerably man-made, economic development is pursued that is compatible with respect for the landscape and the environment.
At the center of the parks ecosystem is Etna, with its lithological border of 250 km, the height of about 3350 m. and an area of approximately 1260 square kilometers. Twenty municipalities fall within the Park (Adrano, Belpasso, Biancavilla, Bronte, Castiglione di Sicilia, Giarre, Linguaglossa, Maletto, Mascali, Milo, Nicolosi, Pedara, Piedimonte Etneo, Ragalna, Randazzo, Santa Maria di Licodia, Sant'Alfio, Trecastagni, Viagrande, Zafferana Etnea), with a population of about two hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants.