A Fiat Panda 4x4... up Mount Etna

The hell-hill in question is Mount Etna, in south-easternish Sicily, one of the most active volcanos in the world. A volcano so animate that if you tot up the major eruptions of the 20th century, they number in double figures. There are ‘events' every few months. The last big one was in October 2012. And, incidentally, last night, accompanied by a modest geological cough that measured 3.8 on the Richter scale. So today - obviously - we are going to try driving up it. Something usually forbidden, because it's a bit dangerous. For this, we require an adventure vehicle equipped with huge tyres and a massive engine, a behemoth festooned with winches and ropes and possibly anti-volcano armour. Something to protect us in case the mountain burns down. Again.

Unfortunately, we have not brought that vehicle. Instead, we have arrived equipped with a completely standard Fiat Panda 4x4. Though we have fitted winter tyres, there's a nagging feeling we may have arrived ever-so-slightly ill-equipped for this little expedition.