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  1. 1. Mount Etna towers 3340m over the city of Catania on the large Mediterranean Island of Sicily. The volcano has been frequently active in recent times and shows a combination of mild explosive activity, sometimes producing sustained ash columns, together with frequent A'a type lava flows which may reach runouts of several km. Spectacular paroxysmic lava fountaining events have been frequently observed at the summit craters in recent years. The summit complex consists of a main structure with two craters (Voragine and Bocca Nuova), a NE crater and the large SE crater which may become the highest point on Etna in years to come. All of these craters have been active in recent times. Lava flows from Etna in historical times have been frequently emitted from fissures low on the flanks of the volcano and the landscape on the flanks has many parasitic cones built up during this type of activity. The following text attempts to summarize the history of Etna in prehistoric and historic times including the most significant and recent eruptions.