The Southern Strata Etna


The towns of this area form the border between highly urbanized area that has’ radiated from the city ‘of Catania, starting from the goal’ of the twentieth century, towards the slopes of Etna and medium altitudes and high of the volcano. To come here, it means leaving an area busy and noisy underground and meet the towns on a human scale. If then it goes even further, rising towards the top of Etna area, meets a radically different landscape, with woods expanses interrupted by large gray or black surfaces of lava and then, still further, the fascinating desert sand, lava and craters almost always smoking.
The volcano, in the last centuries, not ‘been kind to this side, among the most’ affected by a number of violent eruptions, but because of this, here and ‘can grasp the meaning of a mountain and that’ even Volcano.


The area foothills of Mount Etna, once occupied by a dense thicket of oaks, oaks and junipers, in which it was easy to meet the wolf, lynx or spot the griffon vulture in the sky, not I draw ‘prehistoric peoples, that it , preferred areas to more ‘low altitudes, or adjacent to the sea. Although some historical story testifies of ancient acquaintances, until the second millennium the countries of the southern side of the story went to the house. They stayed a long time, a little more ‘to villages of peasants and mountain dwellers, enfeoffed to noble families. We find their past in some beautiful square that overlooks architectonic Mother Church, as in Pedara, or some street paved with shiny blocks of lava, lined with beautiful seven or nineteenth-century civil buildings, like in Trecastagni.
Viagrande, even before the fashionable beach resort ‘resort for the rich bourgeoisie Catania, was an important transit route royal medieval dirt road that led from Catania to Messina and who provoked’ the birth of the name.


The volcano monopolizes the attention and tourist interest of this city. It is the main objective for any tourist or hiker who comes here. The possibilities’ offered to those who stay or simply visit these countries are manifold: they can be reached with your own car or by public transport, the margins of the protected area from the Park and, depending on the season, you can make excursions on foot, by cross-country skiing or ski mountaineering. As soon as they rebuilt the main facilities of the station called “Etna Sud”, almost ‘destroyed by the eruptions
2001 and 2002, there you can ‘bring to the summit area of ​​the volcano with the off-road vehicles of a company’ private, according to the safety rules established by the Prefecture.


The tourist vocation of this area has resulted in a wide range of taverns and restaurants. In them, in the late summer and autumn, and ‘easy to find excellent mushrooms from both Etna, some nearby Nebrodi. The best wine and ‘obviously a “Red Etna”. A Belpasso and ‘developed an activity’ first artisan, then industrial, in the confectionery sector, with the original conception of soft nougat.


(m. 551, pop. 20,400) and Nicolosi (m. 700, pop. 6,200) for centuries were part of the vast fief of the princes of Paterno ‘. The first was invested in full by the eruption of 1669 and had to be rebuilt. It has an urban structure to the board and many Baroque buildings, some with the facade entirely of lava rock, along the main street. The foundation, in the twelfth century, a Benedictine monastery, dedicated to S. Nicolo ‘Rena, was the seed for the birth of Nicolosi, who remained until the end of the nineteenth century, a small village of mountain people. Home of Gemmellaro brothers, preserves along the homonymous street, the charming little church of the Souls of Purgatory.


(m. 610, pop. 10,100), available (m. 586, pop. 8,200) and United (m. 410, pop. 6,600), at first were “parishes” subject to the city ‘Catania. From half ‘of the seventeenth century were enfeoffed to noble families that favored the birth of elegant buildings that still give them a special charm. It goes through the panorama from the churchyard Mother of available mail position preeminent country, and much attention deserves the Mother Church of Nicolosi, for its architecture that uses masterfully contrast of black stone lava on white plaster. CT (M. 830, pop. 3,100), only recently to the common high, and ‘a recent urban aggregate and non-homogeneous, characterized by healthy air and a fresh and clean environment.

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