Another taste of Sicily for this eighth appointment with The Wander Playlist. A story whose main theme is the dark and magmatic stone that characterizes the landscape of Catania, from Etna to the coast, from the lunar expanses to the Faraglioni in front of Aci Trezza.
Our tour takes place at the end of August, to record every moment and capture the rugged and sunny landscapes of eastern Sicily, our faithful Lumix.
On board our faithful Countryman, we go around the province of Catania for a few days, starting from an excursion on the volcano. For all those who were born on its slopes, Etna is the severe mother. An almost divine place, where myth, nature and ancient cults blend together. An enchanted and cruel place, capable of giving life and terrorizing, collecting secular legends as well as religious tales. Etna magnetically binds you, its smells and colors, become part of the DNA of those who grew up on its slopes. And the volcano almost seems to control the mood of every child.
“I like Sicily more than anything else, but only from the top of Etna, in the light, as long as I dominate the island and the sea.” (The Fall – A. Camus)
The weather is constantly changing, the sky opens and closes repeatedly. We stop at Sapienza Hut and after a quick visit to the Crateri Silvestri, we head towards the Sentiero Schiena dell’Asino and reach the Valle del Bove. The beginning of the route is characterized by a wood crossed by a stony path. Then it opens onto a quiet plain and proceeds without too much effort.
Along the path, we can see the city of Catania on one side and the Ionian Sea on the other. We continue to the edge of the Valle del Bove. The landscape is breathtaking. An endless expanse. A lock that collects the most imposing lava flows of recent years.
Centuries and centuries of eruptions have changed the surrounding landscape, transforming it into an almost lunar evocative environment. An environment protected by a vast natural park, the Etna Natural Park, which since 2013 is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the following days, we go along the coast, from the port to Santa Tecla, from the boardwalk of Ognina to Aci Castello and Aci Trezza.
Etna has always been a source of inspiration. Already in Homer’s Odyssey, the cyclops Polifemo mad at Ulysses who blinded him of his only eye, he throws at him the lava blocks, which today, according to tradition, are in front of the Aci Trezza’ boardwalk. The coast is black and rocky, full of caves and lava blocks that tell the relationship of coexistence between the city and the volcano.
An indissoluble bond with the earth and with those who live there. The volcano dominates the city from above and redesigns the view and landscape. And it teaches to those who live on his slopes to have a different rhythm, which is the rhythm of its breath.