The Casa Monte Etna chalet is located in a quiet, peaceful and sunny mountain area just 1500 m from the center of Maletto, breathtaking view of Mount Etna and a large garden. Casa Monte Etna is a typical Etna chalet renovated in 2012; It is finished in stone and brick wood and is furnished with quality fir wood furniture. All this gives the chalet a warm and welcoming atmosphere. In the kitchen and in the bathroom there are ceramics made expressly by local artisans, which give a special and unique touch to the premises. The terrace and the garden enjoy a spectacular view of the volcano. In summer and spring, the garden and the terrace are the perfect place to dine under the umbrella or have a candlelit dinner. The kitchen is well equipped and the appliances are new. The double bed is 160 cm. The chalet is easily reachable from the SS284 (3 minutes). In winter the streets are always clean, car parking is in the chalet property. Hiking trails are easily accessible from the chalets.
Precisely for this Maletto is really the door of Etna, a village higher than the sea level of the entire belt of the municipalities of Etna, opens to tourists the most beautiful side of the volcano, full of landscapes and natural resources made of a flora and a fauna that has remained intact over time.
traveling along a ring route,
We leave the state road 284 and take the dirt road called Fontana murata - Bosco Maletto to enter the wood of the same name.
Just a few minutes by jeep, (but also with a car not too luxurious and can reach the forest) because it seems that the country and modern civilization are miles away. The silence envelops the road, interrupted only by the slow rustling of the wind that breaks on ancient oak, holm oak and chestnut trees that are the plant essences of this part of Etna.
The territory closed by the Forestry with a sturdy gate that prevents the most to continue in the car begins with the entrance to the "closed forest" of the state "Saletti", A district "Cucchiara" around 1100 meters, where the City has made a ' area equipped for fans of outdoor picnic, which will be able to enjoy and discover a real environmental laboratory full of plants.
Here there is not a thread of cement, the walls are made of lava stone cut with a simple pick from whom this work has done for years with great skill. This is how we understand the positive relationship that exists on this side of Etna between man and nature, made of great respect and mutual exchange.
Going beyond the gate, sure that the closer we get to the peak of the volcano, the more we can meet beeches, pines, firs and perhaps even some birch of Etna.
We are also very interested in the shelters and not even to say after just a few hundred meters we meet the Pappalardo houses available to anyone who wants to use them, Inside the hikers will find a kitchen, a nice fireplace, tables at will. If you fit you can also take a shower with the appropriate wood water heater.
The sleeping bag is essential to sleep at night and enjoy the wonders of dawn and then venturing to conquer the volcano.
The climbs are steep, but maybe the air is clean, but those who have traveled the journey on foot say that the effort is not heard. We climb too, meeting at an altitude of 1400 meters the sign placed by the Etna Park that informs us that we have entered the area "A", the area of full protection of the territory and after a while 'arrive on the trail altomontana, the road that it covers the entire volcanic cone at high altitude.
Finally at least for now the climbs seem to be over: we venture to the east to reach the Monte Scavo refuge, destination and goal for many hikers. The soil of the road turns red and around us the vegetation sometimes disappears, because the territory was surrounded by the lava river of the 1974 eruption.
Close to the refuge of Monte Scavo, we meet a true wonder that in May offers a fantastic vision. The vegetation becomes dense again to the point to overshadow the whole street to make it again "illuminate" from the "Maggio ciondolo", a yellow hanging flower that makes the street seem lightened by a chandelier.
And the greeting and the prize for those who managed to get to Mount Scavo site at an altitude of 1704 meters, unique of its case and the largest of the ring altomontano.
The shelter, inside, is very comfortable, if we consider the altitude, and allows you to find the right refreshment after a nice walk.
Here the view is beautiful, the vegetation as well. There are also several paths that lead us to the most interesting places, but it is a stone's throw from there, continuing in the territory of Bronte, which we meet the cave of the "Annunziata".
But we go back: we still have a lot to see, because Maletto is full of shelters.
And 'after facing the great slope that offers us the cross-country ski track we arrive at the refuge "Monte Maletto", beautiful because it is immersed and almost hidden by trees. And small, but like all good shelters to find warmth and refreshment.
Even here the vegetation offers a show, giving us a beautiful plant of juniper of Etna, seasonal mushrooms, and in these altitudes it is not difficult to meet the fragrant porcino.
A short stop and continue back on the track altomontana, because the cross-country ski track is just a circle that rises up to very high altitudes. Needless to continue to say how wonderful it is to cross the woods of Etna, until you reach the Sciarelle forest owned by the municipality.
From there we begin our descent towards the house meeting two other shelters, the one specifically called Sciarelle and that of Trentasalme which instead is owned by the State-owned forests.
Here, too, there is no lack of comfort and above all the ingenuity of the man who, with the ancient systems of the crank pumps, brought the water inside the country houses. Rustic tables and barbecues allow everyone to spend a whole day full of nature, also because it takes just a short time to reach them. In fact, they are just a few minutes' walk from the gates.
We are a little sad because our walk is about to end, but enriched with an experience that we recommend everyone to live.
We leave the territory of the state and arrive in the district "Nave" along a majestic mouth eruptive.
We go down again finding again the asphalt of a road of agricultural penetration that brings us on the way of the House Mount Etna. Our journey through the Malettese wonders of Etna is over.