Madonie, Nebrodi and other Sicilian landscapes are worth a visit. They represent a small, yet beautiful, millennial world.
Madonie Mountains are perfect for hiking and horseback-riding. It is also great to cross the mountains on foot with a mountainbike or on a donkey.
We are in the Madonie Regional Park. is a natural reserve with unique geological sites. Let’s grab a camera and take a walk along the roads and trails.
Let’s begin from Collesano. This is not far from Palermo. It was an ancient feudal country where many monastic orders lived and founded many churches. Collesano’s ceramic art dates back to the second half the 16th century. Let’s go to the Museo della Targa Florio, which preserves an important and powerful collection of photographs, unpublished documentaries and objects from the most difficult and fascinating road race ever, the “Targa Florio”.
Some great embroiderers in Isnello use the old filet method; let’s visit the Museo Trame di filo.
Let’s continue on the provincial road. We will arrive at Castelbuono, which is surrounded by stunning scenery. Let’s go to the Matrice Vecchia which houses the Madonna degli Angeli statue by Gagini. Next, we will visit the Castle. Inside, you’ll find the eighteenth century Cappella Palatina with beautiful stuccowork. We must not forget the Matrice Nuova which houses works of Antonello Da Messina as well as Giuseppe Velasquez.
Let’s move on to Geraci Siculo at 1077m. It is dominated by its Castle and the Chapel of Sant’Anna built by the noble Ventimiglia family. Many events recall noble and peasant traditions. We are referring to the Transumanza Festival, in May, and the Giostra dei Ventimiglia during August when there is a revival.
Let’s go to Gangi, one the most beautiful cities in Italy. We’ll explore its medieval system, as well as the numerous churches and monuments such the Mother Church or the nearby Bell Tower Ventimiglia.
Let’s move towards Petralia Soprana, the highest municipality in Palermo. It is dominated by the Mother Church as well as the Santa Maria di Loreto which has an elegant convex façade, located between two towers.
Petralia Sottana can be found on a rocky outcrop. You can also explore the churches and palaces, as well as the exquisite jewelry that is kept in the sacristy at the Mother Church.
Let’s have a look at archeology. We will be right in front of Petralia Sottana. Then we will head to the Cave of Vecchiuzzo. This cave is interesting for studying prehistoric Sicily. A large amount of pottery from Palermo has been preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Palermo .
The final stop is in Piano Battaglia, a destination for winter sports and holidays. There are also facilities for skiers.
We must not forget Cefalu, a unique location in the Park. It is located on the coast, with its beaches, hills, and rich cultural heritage. Walking around the streets of the old city, hiking up to the Rocca, and visiting the Cathedral is possible. This is part of the ArabNorman UNESCO.
You should not leave without trying the Manna from the Ash of Castelbuono or Pollina. In August, these areas host the Festival of the Manna.
Let’s set off on a new adventure in the Apennines, towards the Sicilian Nebrodi Park. It is located between Messina and Catania, and stretches over 200,000 hectares. This area has the most extensive forests in Sicily.
You will also find paths that are enriched with streams, mountains lakes, wildflower meadows in every season and woods. It may meet reptiles, mammals and amphibians, 150 species or birds, and the black Nebrodi Pig, which is a common dark pig that was raised in the woods in a semi-freedom state.
Let’s begin with Lake Biviere di Cesaro, one of the symbols in the Park. Its 18-hectares and crystal clear water make it impossible not to be fascinated.
The highest peak of Nebrodi is surrounded by the beech forest Monte Soro. It reveals Etna’s outline on one side, and beautiful landscapes the other. We were able to see Sanfratello horses from Madonie and they were drinking the water of the Biviere lake.
The great griffin and the golden eagle were found on the steep slopes at Rocche del Crasto, which is approximately 1,315m high.
You will find wide areas with few trees, pastures and steep cliffs with concavities. There are also rocks that can be climbed.
The cave Grotta del Lauro is one of the most impressive natural wonders in the Rocche. It’s located at 1,068m above sea level in the territory Alcara Li Fusi. There are countless stalactites and stalagmites and columns of different shapes within the first cave. Tunnels lead to smaller and larger cavities.
Another treasure is the Cave of San Teodoro. It’s located at approximately 2 km from Acquedolci. This cave preserves a rich collection of records regarding extinct animals and the remains of prehistoric man.
The park’s beauty is also evident in its surroundings: the picturesque hills of Monte Soro and the coast of Sant’Agata Militello, and Caronia Marina.
It is located close to Alcara Li Fusi.
The Catafurco Fall is located in the municipality Galati Mamertino. It is one of the most interesting spots in the area. It originates at an elevation of approximately 30 meters above the river S. Basilio. Amazing water erosion is evident in limestone rocks. A natural cavity has been dug into the rock at the base of the waterfall. This creates a charming, small pond of water, Marmitta dei Gianti, where you can take a dip if the weather permits.
We walk miles in nature and search for man’s products as we wander. There are embroidered tablecloths and sheets, hand-made baskets, mats and carpets, and ceramics from Santo Stefano di Camastra.
You must try Cesaro’s delicious food
Provola, pecorino, and provola cheese. The delicate ricotta cheese made with old methods is the salami of choice.
black Nebrodi pig
The prized olive oil, honey and hazelnuts.