My name is Sylvia Vecchio, I am a naturalist Guide that operates in Sicily.
Since 1999 I am part of the National Alpine Rescue Corps of Sicily.
In 1977 my father began working on Mount Etna, taking groups of tourists from Piano Provenzana to the Summit Craters.
From the tender age of five, I spent most of my summer and winter holidays on Etna. We had a small Caravan, which for me was like a castle.
When my father was free from work, he used to take me on long hikes, visiting all the most evocative places of our volcano: the Valle del Bove, the Monti Sartorius, the Grotta della Neve, etc.
Under the guidance and protection of my father I experienced the eruptions of our volcano up close.
I was only 6 years old when my father took me to see the eruption that reached Randazzo. It was the year 1981.
In 1983 we went to Nicolosi to see the eruption that destroyed various buildings and the Sapienza shelter.
I remember that the 1992 eruption threatened the town of Zafferana Etnea and the Italian Army intervened by building embankments to contain the lava.
To divert the lava, the Army used dynamite. I have witnessed practically all the other eruptions that
have occurred in recent years, up to the most spectacular of 2002 that destroyed the tourist resort of Piano Provenzana: hotels, souvenir shops, ski lifts, and the places where I grew up.