May 14 – 16, 2024
INAF - Catania Astrophysical Observatory
Europe/Rome timezone

Social Events

Social Dinner

The social dinner is organised for the 15th of May at the  Grand Hotel Baia Verde (****).

The venue is 7 km far from the city center on the cost in the Acicastello municipality. Transportation for social dinner participants is organised from the city center: the departure is foreseen at 8.00 p.m. from Piazza Giovanni Verga by bus.

Please bring the coupon (and the eventual table placeholder) you received with you.

Reference people from the LOC: Gaetano Scandariato and Vikash Singh


Excursion on the top part of Mt. Etna 

An excursion to Mt. Etna will be organised for May 13th. 

The excursion foresees a trip till the upper part of Mt. Etna.


Departure at 8.30 AM from piazza Giovanni Verga  in the city center by bus.

Arrival at "Rifugio Sapienza" 1900 meters  a.s.l. in about 1 hr; then  at an altitude of 2500 meters a.s.l. by the Etna cable car.
From there, 4x4 off-road buses will take you up to about 3000 meters to  “Torre del Filosofo”.
You will take a walk on the edge of the “Crateri Barbagallo”, at the base of the still active South-East Crater, with the assistance of a Volcanological Alpine Guide (about 40 minutes).

At the end of the walk, the off-road bus will take you back to the arrival station of the cable car at 2,500 meters. The cable car will take you to an altitude of 1,900 meters in about 15 minutes (area Rifugio Sapienza).

You will have at this point about 1.5 hr free time for lunch (not provided by the organisation) and short hiking around inactive craters (Crateri Silvestri) that are at walking distance.

At 2:30 pm you will leave from the Rifugio Sapienza area by bus and stop about 10 min later for a visit to the observing site "Serra la Nave" of Catania Astrophysical Observatory that, at about 1800 m a.s.l., is along the road to go back in Catania. 

More than the alpine guide in the sommital part, an operator of the FINIVEST Agency (Mrs. Serena) and Gaetano Scandariato (PLATO Catania team) will assist during the excursion.

The visit of Serra la Nave observatory will be guided by  Giuseppe Leto (Catania Observatory), the Serra la Nave staiton manager.

Departure to Catania at about 3:30 pm.

Arrival in Catania (piazza Giovanni Verga) at about 4:30 pm.


The total duration of the excursion on the top of Mt. Etna is about 2 hours starting from 1900 m asl and back to the same location. 
In case of eruptive activity of the crater or alert, for safety reasons, the excursion will stop at the Belvedere where you will take a walk of about 30 minutes to the “Crateri Sommitali” and you can look out over the Valle del Bove, assisted by the Volcanological Alpine Guides.
The off-road vehicle will continue its journey up to the Crater of 2001 where, always accompanied by an Alpine Guide, you will make a trek of about 30 minutes to get to the top of the crater. At the end, you can take the cable car back to 1,900 meters (in this case the total duration will be around 2 and a half hours).


You need to wear comfortable hiking shoes, a warm (winter) coat and a bernie for the excursion since the temperature in the summital parts can be close to 0 °C, and wind can blow.
It is possible to rent jackets at the cable car departure.

Cost per person of the excursion to Etna, including BUS, cable car, 4x4 off-road vehicle and volcanologist Alpine guide is €190.00 (VAT INCLUDED)

If the number of people is less than 20, the tour will not take place.
The trip must be booked by April 10th. 

Upon confirmation that the minimum  number of participants is reached (20 people) we will ask you to pay by April 30th.

The email with instruction for payment will be sent by Mrs. Serena, e-mail: serena at 

In case of cancellation: there is a penality of 35 Euro till May the 6th. After this date no refund is possible.
Invoice: For the agency it is mandatory to issue an invoice. For participants paying taxes inside the EU, the TIN (Tax Identification Number) and the address are required.
For participants (paying taxes) outside EU, it is sufficient to have the address to which issue the invoice.
These information will be asked by Mrs. Serena


Here a video showing  some of the places you may visit.