Catania is the largest city on the volcano with 312,000 inhabitants. Many airlines offer direct flights from Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Zurich or Vienna. From Catania airport, you can drive to the villages of Bronte, Randazzo, Milo or Linguaglossa in just over an hour by rental car.
But even if you don't want to spend the night directly on Etna, but prefer to stay in Catania, you can easily take the bus to the "Rifugio Sapienza" valley station for a day trip to the volcano. This is the starting point for many hikes and jeep tours. The cable car "Funivia dell'Etna" takes about 15 minutes to the station at 2,500 metres above sea level. By the way, volcano fans can watch Etna at any time via a live webcam installed at the top of the cable car and get in the mood for the excursion.