A Muntagna | Emanuele Occhipinti

Mount Etna and the surrounding area is an island within an island. It’s the highest active volcano in Europe, a majestic presence that touches all of Sicily and all Sicilians but, for those who live on its slopes, it’s a real and significant presence to live with day after day. They simply call it ’a Muntagna – dialect for “the Mountain” – and they do not let its shadow dim their lives; in fact eruptions are considered an unmissable sight, so much so that at the first rumblings you can hear people call out: “The Mountain has burst, let’s head for the summit!” Recently, the volcano has once again made its voice heard strongly and in the first six months of 2021 more then 50 eruptions have been recorded, eruptive columns have risen up to nine kilo-meters above the sea level, lapilli and ashes have covered entire villages around the volcano itself. In this cycle of activity Mount Etna erupted about 60 million cubic meters of magma, especially through particularly energetic lava fountains, as reported by the INGV researchers who constantly monitors volcanic activity.

“‘A Muntagna” is a long journey around Mount Etna and the surrounding area, telling the deep bond that unites the volcano to the women and men who live there, and the extraordinary normality of lives lived in the presence of such a giant, which at any time can generate seismic events. An ambiguous relationship, halfway between the most total devotion and the constant fear for it. They say that when an eruption ends, Etna is already preparing the next one: it’s the eternal confrontation between the volcano and the human beings who have decided to rely on his benevolence.



Emanuele Occhipinti is an Italian documentary photographer. In 2012 he ended a three-year course at “Scuola Romana di Fotografia” gaining a master degree in photojournalism. In 2016 he studied the International Program of Photojournalism at the DMJX, Danish School of Media and Journalism. He also attended different workshops with George Georgiou, Rob Hornstra, Lorenzo Castore, Joachim Schmid amongst others. He mainly work on personal projects focusing on social, environmental and anthropological issues. His work has appeared in different publications and has been recognised in several awards. He lives in Brighton (UK)

Website: www.emanueleocchipinti.com

Instagram: @emanuele.occhipinti


Photo Essay edited by Alejandra Martínez Moreno