Magma Mia!

When Europe's most active volcano blows its top, Sicilians get out their umbrellas and enjoy the show

Rarely could a place have been so inaptly named. High on Mount Etna is a lodge for skiers and hikers called Rifugio Sapienza, or the Wisdom Refuge. Anyone with an ounce of wisdom wouldn't have built it on Europe's highest and most active volcano. Etna began blowing July 13, and last week burning lava came within just yards of the refuge and nearby stores.

There are records of the 11,000-ft. volcano blowing its top since classical times. This year's performance is the most spectacular eruption since 1992, when lava flows threatening the town of Zafferana were diverted by controlled explosions. This...

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