The Media Valle del Simeto

Saracen Bridge

In its middle reaches, the Simeto River flows from north to south between the bare hills, foothills of the Erei, and the massive Etna. On the side of Etna, a short distance from its course, in a position a little ‘more’ high, it develops a sequence of population centers. The surrounding countryside, from the river to the first slopes of the volcano, consist of lush citrus groves. Then, as you go up on the “Mountain”, meet orchards, and woods of holm oaks, then beautiful pine forests until you meet, to 2,000 meters of altitude, the volcanic desert. Scattered on the slopes, tens of lateral craters, some of great size, other small; some, the most ‘young, still naked and blacks, others covered with tree or shrub vegetation. Here and ‘large areas covered with rough lava, sometimes even black, young,



Gorges SimetoThe average Simeto valley was inhabited in prehistoric times and was the site, along with the hills overlooking the Plain of Catania, the most ‘important settlements Sicilians. Near Adrano it stood the ancient city ‘of Mendolito, and Adrano became known in Roman times. An important transit route between Troina and the slopes of Etna, required in uncertain times, the construction of a bridge now called “Saracens”, restored and worth a visit. Of another bridge, even more ‘old, to Pietralunga, on the way between Centuripe and Paterno’, few elements remain. The normanno Ruggero, Count of Sicily, he built forts along the valley a belt, similar to each other, that we find at Adrano Paterno ‘and Motta. They are essentially of the wide square base towers, technically called “dungeon”.


They can be accomplished lovely walks along the banks of the Simeto, to admire the gorges carved out by the river in an ancient lava bed, now protected by a nature reserve, called “Ingrottato lava Simeto”. Charming and full of specialized wildlife, the lake environment that has’ developed around the artificial lake created by the dam of Ponte Barca. At the foot of the cliff on which stands Motta, and ‘recently designed a nature trail that allows you to admire from below the “neck”, that’ the volcano’s neck that he could not ‘never to enter into activity’. On it stands the castle. The route also allows to appreciate the interesting phenomenon of clay gullies in the valleys of the underlying Sieli.


The countryside around Motta, known as “strong lands,” produce a wine with more ‘high gradation of the Etna, ideal for aged and acquire such’ an amber color, for a pair a meal with sweets. Characteristic of the area and ‘also the production of “pestimbotte”, wine obtained without the wort has been to rest in contact with the scum. And ‘straw-colored and should be drunk within two years of winemaking.

– Adrano

(M. 560, pop. 35,500) was inhabited in prehistoric and Roman. His name was altered to Aderno ‘and well known throughout the Middle Ages and Modern. The Aderno accounts ‘, which were at the same principles of Paterno’ possessed until 1812 a huge area that dated back to the uncultivated areas of the “Mountain.” In Castle and ‘it hosted an archaeological museum and an art gallery.


Paterno - the 700 monumental Scala– Biancavilla

(M. 515, pop. 23,000) instead he tells of the arrival in Sicily of an Albanian colony settled there ‘around 1480 and prosperous’ until today, integrating seamlessly with neighboring populations. Only a few names now denounce the distant Balkan origin.

– S. Gregorio

(M. 442, pop. 7,100) was born around one of the first Benedictine monasteries of Sicily, founded in 1143, which can be seen even a glimpse near the central square. Its territory, rich in clear springs, was chosen in Roman times for the construction of a major water supply that led to

SM Newburgh - Fountain Cherubbino

Catania 350 liters per minute for supplying the city ‘and spas that arose in it abundant. Little remains of this great work are still visible in the countryside.

– Paterno ‘

(M. 225, pop. 46,300) rose to great fame ‘since the time Norman, when it was subjected to cadet members of the royal family, with the title of prince. To visit the summit ‘of the hill on which stands the Castle, which offers a stunning panorama, and in the Old Town, the Mother Church.

– Motta S. Anastasia

(M. 275, pop. 9,400) goes to the name, which means “natural fortification”, the memory of a time when French was the language of the rulers in Sicily. In the Middle Ages it brings the tradition of flag bearers dressed in costumes and regalia of the three districts in which is divided citizenship.

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