At an altitude of over 500 metres, Zafferana Etnea is one of the gateways to the volcano along the Etna provincial road. Arriving there, you see it scenically poised on terraces of lava stone (like the dark steps of the Chiesa Madre that contrast with its white façade) sloping down towards the Ionian coast. The village perhaps owes its name to the abundant presence in the surrounding forests of the plant the precious spice saffron comes from, but it is also well known for its excellent honey. You are in the right place if you like hiking. It's a convenient sarting point for climbing up to the volcano's craters. The various routes you can take include one that leads to the Citelli refuge, at an altitude of 1,741 metres, and one to the Valle del Bove, which is like an immense 'container' of lava with very steep walls, into which many eruptions have flowed like rivers into a lake.