The two-hour eruption late Wednesday lit up the sky and temporarily closed the nearby airport in Catania in eastern Sicily. Fontanarossa airport reopened around 6:30 am on Thursday after delaying or diverting some domestic flights.
There were no reported casualties caused by the eruption.
Etna's last major eruption was in 1992.
The ancient Greeks believed 3,329-metre Etna to be the home of Vulcan, the god of fire. erupting merely meant Vulcan was forging weapons for Mars, the god of war.