Best accessed from Sicily's second largest city, Catania, via Borgo metro station, you'll find that most tour operators will start their exploration of the volcano from the mountainside hut, Rifugio Sapienza. You may hike the few hours closer to the top (although not into the active areas) or take one of the cable cars or jeep excursions, enjoying the opportunity to observe the spectacular landscape. Be prepared for the spectacle of metamorphic caverns, ancient craters, and the remnants of lava flows to keep you in a constant state of wonder. If you're lucky, you'll catch the volcano during some activity; it spews and sputters with surprising consistency. Then again, if you’re unlucky, the volcano will erupt in your face and ruin your Italian leather (we kid. There's plenty of forewarning of volcanic activity, so your Italian leather will be in no danger). Check the included websites for a sampling of tour operators and up-to-date information on the volcano.
Note:Be sure to dress for hiking and the weather, which can get cold at these high elevations. Also, depending on what you choose to do, a chance to ascend the mountain can actually get pretty expensive (upwards of $100 USD). For an alternative activity, there is a massive depression of volcanic desert on the eastern side of the mountain known as Bove Valley, which has numerous natural paths through the devastated landscape and will cost less if you choose an operator.