A Fiat Panda 4x4... up Mount Etna

The situation does not bode particularly well on the drive up. Etna - all 10,922 feet of it - dominates the totality of the view that isn't sea from the town of Catania. And it's hard to miss, because it's the hill smoking like a recently fired cannon, or the remnants of the biggest firework you've ever seen. Which, in a sense, it is, because Etna is a vigorous stratovolcano two and a half times the size of Vesuvius.

It's famous for featuring in Greek mythology as the place where Typhon (comfortingly called ‘father of all monsters') was imprisoned by Zeus for being naughty, somewhere in an annexe to the forges of Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods, which are also apparently secreted under Etna's 459-square-kilometre base.