Etnaland: the amusement park in the shadow of the volcano
The great Sicilian volcano looks up at that temple of entertainment that has given the island one of its most ambitious projects. Etnaland, for its part, celebrates it in name and probably sees a certain affinity in its ability to hypnotise and amaze. That’s right, because since opening, the park continues to expand its offering, conquering an ever-widening public. Will you come discover it with us?
Partly for fun, partly to learn
With a total surface area of 280,000 square metres, Etnaland is located in Belpasso, a few kilometres from Catania: inside it a host of attractions for all tastes and ages, including a popular water park, plus an incredible educational area that will capture the attention of your children, starting with the Prehistoric Park and the botanical trail.
It was a zoo in the beginning
In 1976, this area was home to the La Pergola farm, which belonged to the father of the current park director, Francesco Russello. When a circus went bankrupt in Palermo in the early 1980s, Russello thought of acquiring the animals and creating a first wildlife area that was called The Sicilian Zoo Park, which was later joined by The Park of Prehistory. We were still a long way from creating the largest theme park in the South, but do you know what happened then? When he realised how successful his idea was, he purchased several water park facilities and, in 2001, opened the first version of Etnaland to the public. Investments over time have multiplied and attractions have been added that are not always found in this type of facility, but which are suggestively named. Do Crocodile Rapids, Jungle Splash and Dragon River sound familiar?
Take a dip in the Aquapark
Since 2012, Etnaland has raced to offer an increasingly adrenalin-fuelled and exciting experience. The Aquapark was completed in its initial design in 2014, although it was officially opened in the year of its grand opening. It includes more than 25 attractions with a total of 8,500 square metres of pools and now also has a record: it has the most attractions and highlights in the whole of Europe. It even surpassed the huge Siam Park in Spain.
For children and families
Etnaland boasts some thirty attractions for the little ones: if you have children they will go crazy for the colourful rotating hot air balloons Billow Balloon, the Guard and Thieftoy cars and Brave Kart, the Twistarello flying cars and Ciclopina's, freefall tower in mini version. Electric boats Love Lagoonthe carousel Gran Carillon and the Babel tower are attractionsfor the whole family.
A glimpse of Etna
Don't forget that the park you are visiting, which in summer keeps its gates open even at dusk to prolong the fun under a blanket of stars, is located on the slopes of Etna, the volcano recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A look up to admire the wonder of the Muntagna, as the Catanese say, is a must. But an excursion to its summit craters is also definitely worthwhile.