You cannot say that you have really visited Etna if you have not observed the immensity of the Valle del Bove. The Bove valley is a huge depression on the east flank of the volcano which was created, according to the latest INGV studies, about 10,000 years ago as a result of the collapse of some older volcanic buildings. The Caldera, this is the scientific name, is 5 km wide and 7 long and with its extension covers almost the entire eastern side of the volcano. Its walls are up to 1000 meters high.
These characteristics make it a true colossus of nature. There are some theories about its creation, the most credited according to scientists is that it is the result of the collapse of one of the Etna volcanic buildings (the Trifoglietto), which is estimated to be quite higher than the current volcano. Within the Valle del Bove, whose toponym is of unknown origin, but it is likely that it may depend on the fact that in the past the prairie at the bottom of the valley hosted grazing animals. Today, however, most of the Etna lava flows flow into the Caldera, making it a place of raw beauty, so from its edges, a panoramic point of passage for many of our excursions on the volcano, it is often possible to admire volcanic activity.
HIKING NOTES: The Valle del Bove can be reached on various trails mainly by trekking or alternatively by car from some panoramic points located below. The trekking routes are almost all of medium difficulty.