It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km² (460 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide in Tenerife surpasses it in the whole of the European-North-African region.
Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity.
The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south.
Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.
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