At over 3,300 metres, this is the largest active volcano in Europe. A hulking, brooding beast, Etna is about as active as volcanoes get, its angry fumaroles so often visible, coiling into Sicily’s blue skies. A climb to the summit leads you through lower slopes of fertile volcanic soils, home to orchards and vineyards, eventually giving way to an unfamiliar land towards the summit. On clear days, the views from the top can be magnificent, land and sea stretching out all around, everything below you. But it’s the blackened moonscape, the ashy desolation of Etna that is most arresting. A wild world of fire and ice, walking on recent lava flows is a primal pleasure, an immersive tour of nature newborn and raw.