On the slopes of Etna, in the resort of St.Alfio, stands the oldest tree in Europe: ” The Chestnut of a Hundred Horses”.

So called because the legend tells that Queen of Sicily, Joanna I of Angiò, who ended the battle of ninety years of Catania in 1347, during a hunting expedition on Mount Etna, was caught by a storm and found shelter, along with her hundred knights, just below the famous Chestnut Tree.

Withover 62 metersin circumference,25 metersin height and an approximateage of between 2000 and 4000 years, the Chestnut is now considered the oldest and largest tree in Europe. In addition it has been in The Guinness Book of Records since 18 May 2008, as part of world heritage asset, given the title ofMessenger of Peace in the World. This is because it is classed as the desired destination at any time, a refuge for men and women from all classes, all united by the common spirit to find themselves through peaceful contact with the uncontaminated nature.

San’.Alfio is also famous for the production of typical products of Etna Park such asalmond, pistachio, hazelnut, walnutandhoneypaste. In restaurants and farm holidays in the area you can enjoy the specialties such as freshhomemade pastawith pork sauce, withmushrooms, with wild fennel and with chestnuts. Try theBBQ meat and cheese.

Distance fromCatania38 km

by Train
Giarre/Risposto railway station 10 km from St.Alfio

by Car
A18 (highway 18) Messina-Catania-Siracusa exit Giarre, take SP5-I, drive for about 6km direction Macchia di Giarre, then Paoli Primo and Sant’Alfio.

The trails of Etna

For those who want to spend more time discovering the natural beauty of Etna Park, there are alternative ways to explore it.

Always accompanied by experienced guides you can take a tour of the volcano starting from the town of Nicolosi or Zafferana Etnea. Etna Park offers different paths, easy or medium difficulty, on foot or by mountain bike.

Some of them are:

Etna South:
Sentiero Monte Nero degli Zappini , 4 km return (2h 30m), is ideal for trekking and mountain biking. It starts from Piano Vetore and comes to Santa Barbara Refugee, passing through the lava flow of 1985.

Etna North-East:
Sentiero Pietracannone-Cubania 4 km return (2h), is ideal for easy trekking. It starts on the road Mareneve, Case di Pietracannone homes, beyond Milo and St. Alfio, it ends at the Paternò Castello Refugee, passing over the lava flow of 1971.

Etna North-East:
Sentiero Monti Sartorius 4 km return (2h), is ideal for trekking, half and half on a bike. It starts from and returns to Citelli Refuge. The trail allows you to view the craters known to “buttonhole” lava flows dating back to 1865.

Etna North:
Grotta dei Lamponi e Grotta del Gelo This is a very difficult path of about 16 km that can be done in part by mountain biking (2h) and in part on foot (3h). The starting point by car is from the refuge Ragabo north of the volcano, and is on the road Mareneve a few kilometers from Lingfield. The first cave is called The Lamp, reachable by bike or donkey. Leaving the bike near the cave, you must walk up to the Ice Cave. This is a cave constantly frozen, so we recommend this route only to experts.

Etna North-West:
Sentiero di Piano Vetore, 14 km return (4h), is ideal for biking. When you reach the Ariel Refuge, park your car at the Rangers stop. Continue on foot or bicycle, along a path that leads up to a botanical garden in deep forest.
Galvarina Refuge is there for you to rest in a sleeping bag and warm up in front of a fire.

Distance 51 km from 
; 98 Km from 
 by Car
From Catania: A18 (Highway 18) Messina – Catania – Siracusa exit Gravina di Catania, drive to Nicolosi – exit Etna Sud.
From Messina: A18 Messina – Catania – Siracusa exit Giarre, follow direction to Zafferana Etnea.