Screams, this creative design blog, features photography of Mt. Etna in Sicily by Lukas Furlan
Driving to Tonare di Scopello, a stunning Italian mansion on North-West coast of Sicily, I thought life couldn’t get much better. Blue skies accompanied blue sea and gentle wind made the sun’s heat quite comfortable. Then while climbing a hill with the aroma of wine in the air from vineyards either side of the road, my Fiat Panda’s tyre burst. Peh, pssssssst.
I was with my girlfriend of the time and thought shit, I’ve never changed a tyre before. Being able to change a tyre is something modern man is expected to know how to do. It’s as if it’s a default part of the male education, just like learning to tie a tie or drinking whiskey.
I got out the car and opened the boot. There was a spare, a wench and a jack. Thankfully it wasn’t difficult. I lifted the car with the jack, popped off the nuts with the wench, and changed the tyre for the spare. Three inches of nail was wedged in the track of the wheel.
Before long we headed off again at a slower pace soaking up the sights and smells. Beautiful and green, Sicily is home to much ancient culture and I’ve always regretted not going to see Mount Etna.
The tallest active volcano in Europe, great Roman poet Virgil described it erupting in Aeneid (the earliest first-hand description we have of it; read the translation by Robert Fagles):
A spreading bay is there, impregnable
To all invading storms; and Aetna’s throat
With roar of frightful ruin thunders nigh.
Now to the realm of light it lifts a cloud
Of pitch-black, whirling smoke, and fiery dust,
Shooting out globes of flame, with monster tongues
That lick the stars; now huge crags of itself,
Out of the bowels of the mountain torn,
Its maw disgorges, while the molten rock
Rolls screaming skyward; from the nether deep
The fathomless abyss makes ebb and flow.
Such vivid imagery of its eruptions had always come to mind when calling Mount Etna to mind, either that, or green grassy slopes scattered with sheep. I suppose when thinking of what Nature should look like I’ve always had a presupposition to words shared by Spanish playwright Pedro Calderon de la Barca, “Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
What I had never considered, nor seen, was that Mount Etna is covered in snow.
Lukas Furlan is an Italian landscape photographer who has captured these fantastic photographs of Mount Etna in its snowy glory. A student of photography in Vienna, his landscapes have already been featured on Bēhance and now, more importantly, Screams: