Targa Malerba Excursion
Meeting point: Euro Etna Tourism cabin, located next to Bar Esagonal, Piazzale Funivia.
Meet: at 10:00, delivery of equipment, bureaucratic formalities, latest information from the volcanological bulletin of the NIGV of Catania and delivery of tickets.
The route, of moderate difficulty, winds through the Valle del Bove. We will cross an area on which a reforestation project with Corsican pine is being conducted. Here, the Etna Park Authority has led a large-scale action to capture the caterpillars of the pine processionary moth (Thaumentopoea Pityocampa). This caterpillar, feeding on pine needles, has been the cause of significant damage to the woodland heritage of the park.
The vegetation consists mainly in cushion plants: milkvetch dominates, next to which one sees, in the warm season, the yellow flowers of the barberry and the fragrant tansy. You can’t miss the tufts of fescues and bluegrass, which make up the pasture grasses for goat and sheep flocks during the seasonal migration. In the sky, you can see birds of prey such as the kestrel and the buzzard.
Continuing along the trail, we will reach the edge of the Valle del Bove, one of the most easily accessible places for those who want to observe up close Etna’s eruptions of the spring of 2017.
The immense basin of the Valle del Bove, eight kilometers long and five wide, is tinted black by the lava flows of 1991 – 1993, which spilled out into Val Calanda, coming close to and threatening Zafferana. The pastures of the Trifoglietto Plain, and the historical Gino Menza refuge, maintain for posterity the traces of that historic event.
The Valle del Bove represents something like an open-air museum of Etna. The valley, except in the case of the eruptive event of the 1990s, performs the function of a natural embankment against the eruptions, keeping the dangerous lava away from the nearby inhabited centers.
The route, thanks to the flashlights we provide and the trekking poles, is easily accessible even at sunset, the best time to watch the spectacular lava at night. The itinerary is suitable for everyone, no special equipment is required and the trail is usable in every season.
Climbing portion: 250 m level difference.
Difficulty: medium (E)
Price: 50 € adults, 30 € children (7 – 11 years old), the price includes trekking poles and a guide for every 30 participants.