Every time I leave Sicily for a travel, coming from Enna, my hometown, I pass by Mount Etna, the biggest volcano in Europe. It is still active and it erupts once in a while. However, the Sicilians call it ‘The Good Volcano’, for it never kills. When it erupts, the lava flows slowly down its slopes and gives people time to get to safety.

In Greek mythology, Hephaestus, the husband of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, lived inside Etna and forged lightning bolts for Zeus, who was able to defeat the Titans thanks to the bolts forged by Hephaestus.

The Sicilians also call it ‘Mongibello’. They are so proud of their volcano that in the song ‘Sciuri, Sciuri’ (Flowers, flowers) which can be considered the Sicilian national anthem, they sing, ‘We are all children of Mongibello.’

The bus has just arrived at the airport. We will be out of Sicily for three months. “Goodbye, beloved Mongibello Mountain. See you soon!”

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)