The Ferrovia Circumetnea (roughly translated as "Round - Etna Railway") is a 950 mm (3 ft 1 in) gauge narrow-gauge regional railway line in Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...
. It was constructed between 1889 and 1895.
As the name suggests, the line (110 km in length) follows a route which almost encircles the Etna volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...
From its terminal in Catania
Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.Catania is known to have a seismic history and...
the line starts off in a westward direction and loops around Etna in
a clockwise manner (as seen on the map), eventually reaching its other terminal at the seaside town of Riposto
Riposto is a comune in the Province of Catania in the Italian region Sicily, located about 170 km east of Palermo and about 25 km northeast of Catania.-External links:*...
, approximately 28 km to the North-East of Catania.
The original terminal was at Catania Porto, although Catania Central (the mainline station) was the last stop for the trains.
Recently, however, the section from there to Catania Borgo (4 km in length) was converted to
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...
and moved underground for most of its length for use as a new metro
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...
(Metropolitana di Catania
Metropolitana di Catania
The Catania Metro is a metro system serving the city of Catania in Sicily, southern Italy and the southern most metro in Europe....
). The original terminus, the Porto station, was also reinstated. The Circumetnea services, therefore, now terminate at Catania Borgo.
The Metropolitana and the Circumetnea are operated by the same company (the FCE), which has its offices at Catania Borgo.
- Official Website (mostly in Italian; English, French and non-flash versions undermaintained)