North East and the Alcantara valley
Cuba

– THE LANDSCAPE

Down the slopes of the Nebrodi Mountains and heading eastwards, the Alcantara River flows into the bottom of a beautiful valley, offering an extraordinary panorama in any direction looking to look. Etna, Peloritani and Nebrodi, three geologically diverse mountainous complexes of each other, overlook it, offering each landscape and color changing at the turn of the seasons. Then the river encounters a short and oblong series of hills, no more than 830 meters high, at the head of which is perched, well perched, Castiglione di Sicilia. The river then bends to the left, where he struggles to retrieve his old bed, from the intrusion of a lava flow that had invaded him in prehistoric times.
The action of escaping and recovering its riverbed has created the very famous Alcantara Gorges. To the west of the hills series there is another valley, of the most soft and sweet shapes, along which Linguaglossa rises and the lower Piedimonte Etneo. Finally, 300 meters further down, a short plain where you meet Calatabiano, Fiumefreddo and Mascali.

DOLCETTI– HISTORY, ARCHITECTURE

The same “historical” stream that enriched Randazzo, due to the contiguity with the main communication route between Palermo and East Sicily, made Castiglione an important city in Norman, Swabian, Aragonese and Castel Leone overwhelming, it is the witness of centuries of great strategic importance to the city. Along the shores of Alcantara, a pearl: the Byzantine church of S.Domenica, also known as “Cuba di Castiglione”. The name Linguaglossa tells of a Lombard colony settled in the twelfth century, whose language, not understood by the nearby people, was referred to as “gross”, that is, coarse.
Another important manor house and an ancient church overlook Calatabiano, which together with the neighboring Piedimonte and Fiumefreddo, tells us of a feudal era lived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries under the rule of the Gravina Cruyllas family. Mascali, however, with its vast vast territory, including the present ones of Giarre, Riposto, Milo and Sant’Alfio, was instead subjected to the Bishop of Catania.

PIEDIMONTE– NATURALIST EXCURSIONS

The territory of Linguaglossa with its lush pine forest, engraved by a profound, very small wound due to the recent eruptions, is still an excellent base for a wide variety of excursions to be made both in its vastness and its margins, when faced with a number of lateral craters, even at the summits of the Volcano. Very different is the kind of visit that offers the flat territory near the sea, where the short course of Fiumefreddo is protected by a well-kept Nature Reserve. A side road, right on the right side of the Alcantara course, which can be reached either from Castiglione or Calatabiano, allows you to access a strapial terrace on the River Gorges or to reach a ford that allows you to walk on foot and then swimming for a few tens of meters between its walls with lava colonnade prisms.

– ENOGASTRONOMIC ITINERARIES

The Rovittello, Solicchiata and Castiglione campaigns are well known to connoisseurs for their wine production, almost always protected by the D.O.C. The amenity of the landscape has developed the agritourism, which combines good food directed towards beef and pigmeat, vegetables and vegetables. The production of hazelnuts characterizes the whole area and is used by skillful confectioners.

CASTELLO SCHIAVI– Castiglione di Sicilia

(m. 601, ab. 3.750), whose oldest lattice is of a clear medieval imprint, must be visited on foot, going back slowly to the Castle and not neglecting the Basilica of Our Lady of the Chain, the Mother Church, and the Churches of St. Benedict and St. Nicholas.

– Linguaglossa

(m. 550, ab. 5.400), a valley town but has always been projected to Etna for its business and for its economy, is waiting for the reconstruction of its high mountain station Provenance. The main street, colorful and tidy, goes for nothing but a stop at some bars specializing in delicious pasta with hazelnuts, pistachios and other delicacies.

– Piedimento Etneo

(m. 350, ab. 3.700) has a long ornate rectangle, at the bottom, of two obelisks lined with lava stone and has two interesting churches: the Matrix and the Immaculate.

Dal centro di Calatabiano (m. 62, ab. 5.200) si puo’ raggiungere il Castello, transitando davanti ai resti della quattrocentesca chiesa di S. Filippo Siriaco, mentre da Fiumefreddo di Sicilia (m. 62, ab. 9.700) si suggerisce di sbirciare i mostri di pietra affacciati alle logge del Castello degli Schiavi e l’altrettanto estroso Castello di S. Marco.

– Mascali

(m. 18, ab. 10.600) enjoys the unmistakable privilege of being the last town to have been totally destroyed by an eternal eruption in November 1928, so it had to be rebuilt more downstream.

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