It is the first nature path carried out in the Park, situated on the southern side of Etna, at a few kilometers from the highest craters.
How to get Black Mount of Zappini:
The place of departure is the plateau set in the west side of Monte Vetore. The path winds through the wood showing past and recent lava flows, hornitos, natural and man-made woodland and leads to the Botanic Garden Nuova Gussonea.
The route and the landscape:
From the botanic garden Nuova Gussonea we end up to the starting point. All along the path you can enjoy the southern slopes of Etna and the secondary cones of Monte Nero (Black Mount) and Monte Nero degli Zappini (Black Mount of Zappini).
The vegetation displays Spanish brooms, poplars, astragalus and junipers.
On climbing you would appreciate the 1985 lava flow, with its volcanic cone which shows a peculiar structure and shape; then we penetrate the depth of a pine larch wood and after that we get to the “Botanic Garden Nuova Gussonea, constituted in 1985 in honor of G. Gussone, an eminent expert of Sicilian flora.
The garden extends for over 10 hectares and exhibits the botanic species of Etna region.
These are arranged in vegetal community, as they can be found in the Etna nature environment, at different altitudes and in different environmental conditions.
A forest nursery with plants arranged in phylogenetic order, as well as a variety of woody and underwoody areas on show in the botanical garden of the park (wood with Etna birches, beech trees, turkey oaks, sessile oaks, poplars, trembling poplars, holm-oaks). Other areas of the park are: the Cisternazze, characteristic lava flow depressions, the V. Giacomini shelter, which hosts a spermatheca with the vegetation seeds of the region, a small weather station.