Zafferana Etnea e il Rifugio Sapienza

Places to visit during your vacation…

Zafferana Etnea rises to 574 m, on the eastern slopes of Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. It extends to the summit peak of the volcano, including in its territory landscapes of inestimable naturalistic beauty, from dense forests to stretches of lava desert.

It is one of the municipalities of the Regional Park of Etna and its territory includes the three great valleys that according to accredited hypotheses represent the testimony of the sequence of the genesis of the volcano: Valle del Bove, Val Calanna and Valle San Giacomo.

The village is located in a valley, at the foot of the Pomiciaro mountains (1715 m), Zoccolaro (1739 m) and Fior di Cosimo (1178 m), arranged in length parallel to the Ionian Coast.

Located in a pleasant position for lovers of tranquillity and nature, it is located halfway between the sea and the mountains.

Zafferana is one of the access points to the volcano, thanks to the Etna provincial road that connects it to the tourist resort of Rifugio Sapienza (Nicolosi) on one side, and to that of Piano Provenzana (Linguaglossa) on the other.

Etna is located on the eastern coast of Sicily, within the territory of the province of Catania and is crossed by the 15th meridian east, which takes its name from it.

The volcano is classified among those defined as a shield to which a volcano layer is flanked. Its height varies over time due to its eruptions which cause it to rise or fall. In 1900 his height reached 3,274 m, and in the year 3,326 m. In 1978 the height of 3,345 m was reached and in 2010 that of 3,350 m.

Its surface is characterized by a rich variety of environments that alternates urban landscapes, dense woods that preserve several endemic botanical species and desolate areas covered by magmatic rock and periodically subject to snow cover at higher altitudes. Etna has a rather complex structure due to the formation, in time, of numerous volcanic buildings that however in many cases were later collapsed and were replaced, side by side or covered entirely by new eruptive centres. At least 300 between cones and eruptive fractures are recognizable in the “modern phase” of the volcano. The area is also at moderate seismic risk because of the tremor of the volcano.

It is one of the most important international tourist centers of Sicily for its enchanting natural landscape, marine beauties and its historical monuments. Located on a hill at 206 m above sea level, suspended between rocks and sea on a terrace of Mount Tauro, in a setting of natural beauties unique for variety and contrasts of motifs.

Exalted by the Greek theater, the majestic grandeur of Etna, the enchanting coast of Capo Taormina and Isola Bella.

Distance from the Bed and Breakfast: 25 Km / 30 minutes by car via the A18 CT-ME motorway.

The centre of Acireale is Piazza del Duomo, overlooked by some of the city’s most important buildings, including the Cathedral Church, the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, the Palazzo del Comune, Palazzo Modò. The Cathedral is dedicated to Maria Santissima Annunziata, but is commonly attributed to the cult of Santa Venera, the patron saint. The Collegiate Basilica of San Sebastiano is the most important church of Acireale, declared a national monument. Built in the eighteenth century, it has a façade with several orders, preceded by a balustrade. The interior is rich with frescoes by Paolo Vasta.

Corso Umberto is the walk of the city, along which the various noble palaces stand out. Turning left, after about 350 m, you reach Piazza Garibaldi (called ‘la piazzetta’, from the acesi), where the statue dedicated to the fallen of the Achaean sculptor Michele La Spina. Also, on the west side of the square is the Teatro Maugeri, very popular in the sixties. Continuing into Corso Umberto, for another 500 m, you reach Piazza Indirizzo, where on the right is the entrance to the Villa Belvedere, inaugurated in the nineteenth century and on the north side the prospect of the Chiesa dell’ Indirizzo, in neoclassical style. The Musumeci noble palaces (with carved lava stone entrance portal) and Calanna and the churches of San Biagio, Santa Maria degli Angeli, the Madonna del Carmelo in the Carmine district, San Domenico, San Filippo Neri, Santo Rocco, Maria Santissima Odigitria and Maria Santissima Maddalena. Other churches are located in various districts of the City and the total number justifies the city appellation of the hundred bell towers.

The Timpa is a promontory of about 80 m in height close to the coast of Acireale. Since 1999 it has become a nature reserve oriented. It is characterized by volcanic rocks with tiers and various faults in which a dense vegetation grows. The territory of the reserve is preserved and largely untouched, even if inserted in a particularly anthropized context, such as the east coast north of Catania.

Distance from the Bed and Breakfast: 7km / 8 minutes by car.

During its history, it has been repeatedly destroyed by volcanic eruptions (the most impressive, in historical times, is that of 1669) and by earthquakes (the most catastrophic ones remembered were those of 1169 and 1693). The baroque of its historic centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with seven towns in the Val di Noto (Caltagirone, Militello in the Val di Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli), 2002. Baroque monuments.

Among the main Baroque monuments, we remember:

  • The Cathedral of Sant’Agata
  • The church of the Abbey of Sant’Agata, in via Vittorio Emanuele II
  • The church of Sant’Agata la Vetere, in via Santa Maddalena, stands on a church of 264
  • The church of Sant’Agata alla Fornace or San Biagio, in Piazza Stesicoro
  • The church of San Francesco in Piazza San Francesco, which houses the remains of Eleonora d’Angiò
  • The church of San Benedetto, in via Crociferi
  • The Church of San Domenico, on the homonymous square
  • The church of San Giuliano, in via Crociferi
  • The church of San Nicolò l’Arena, in Piazza Dante
  • The Church of San Placido, on the homonymous square
  • The Monastery of the Holy Trinity, in via Vittorio Emanuele
  • The Basilica della Collegiata (directed Chapel), in via Etnea
  • The Palazzo degli Elefanti, seat of the Town Hall, the Palace of the Seminary of the Clerics and the Fountain of the Amenano, in Piazza del Duomo
  • The Palazzo Biscari, in via Biscari
  • The Palazzo del Toscano, in Piazza Stesicoro
  • The Palazzo Reburdone, in via Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Palazzo Bruca, in Via Vittorio Emanuele II, home to the Toy Museum
  • The Palazzo Fassari Pace, in Via Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Palazzo Valle, in Via Vittorio Emanuele II, home of the Puglisi-Cosentino
  • Foundation the Villa Cerami, in via Crociferi, the seat of the Faculty of Law
  • The Uzeda Gate in via blessed Giuseppe Dusmet the Porta Ferdinandea, known today as Porta Garibaldi, built in 1768 and located in Piazza Palestro
  • The Elephant Fountain
  • The Convitto Cutelli

Distance from the Bed and Breakfast: 12km / 20 minutes by car

Giaddini or Giaddina in Sicilian) is an Italian town of 9.653 inhabitants of the province of Messina in Sicily. Formerly called Nasso, it is 39 km from Messina and 40 from Catania. To the old name of the city (“Gardens”) in 1978 was added “Naxos”, the first Greek colony in the land of Sicily.

  • Church of Maria SS.
  • Church of San Pancrazio
  • Church of Maria SS. Immaculate
  • Nike di Kalkis represents the twinning symbol with Chalkis (1966)
  • Port of Naxos represents the symbol of the twinning with the Cyclades (2000)
  • Statue of Teocles the founder of Naxos
  • Apollo Archageta Park
  • The archaeological park
  • The Archaic city

Distance from the Bed and Breakfast: 22km / 25 minutes by car via the A18 CT-ME motorway.

The Alcantara is born from the Nebrodi about 1,400 m from the Serra Baratta in the Province of Messina. Heading impetuously towards the south, it enters the Province of Catania, soon reaching the northern part of the town of Randazzo. Here it changes abruptly thanks to the “thrust” of its main right-hand tributar. The Flascio river. Noticeably in the flow, from the tributary the Alcantara goes east practically making a right angle (it should be noted that on the cards, the main river would seem to be even with the Flascio and not the Alcantara so much is the angle of confluence).

From here the river flows between Mount Etna to the south of the Nebrodi and Peloritani mountains to the north, until the mouth of the border between the provinces of Messina and Catania. From the municipality of Moio Alcantara the river begins to flow mostly encased, lapping the centres of Francavilla di Sicilia and Castiglione di Sicilia. At Motta Camastra in Fondaco Motta, after having received the Zavianni torrent from the left, the river flows into an ingrown section consisting of basaltic lavas, 300,000 years old, of pre-etnee cracks, the so-called Alcantara Gorges (Gole dell’Alcantara), a very famous and frequented every year by thousands of tourists.

From Gaggi to Calatabiano, the river widens the river bed to return to shrink near the mouth, in the territory of Giardini-Naxos, where the spans of the famous Roman bridge Al qantarah (the arched bridge), from which derives the name of this stream of water. The mouth is in the Ionian Sea and precisely in San Marco. Among the towns crossed there are, Floresta, Santa Domenica Vittoria, Randazzo, Mojo Alcantara, Castiglione di Sicilia, Francavilla di Sicilia, Motta Camastra, Graniti, Gaggi, Calatabiano, Taormina and Giardini Naxos.

Distance from the Bed and Breakfast: 23km / 30 minutes by car.

It is a multi-millennial chestnut tree, located in the Etna Park in the municipality of Sant’Alfio (CT), in whose civic coat of arms is depicted. The chestnut, considered as the most famous and largest in Italy and the subject of one of the oldest naturalistic protection acts – if not the first of its kind – in Sicily, was studied by several botanists and visited by many famous people in the past. Its history blends with the legend of a mysterious queen and a hundred horsemen with their steeds, which, it is said, found shelter from a storm.

The legend
It is said that a Queen, accompanied by a hundred knights and ladies was surprised by a storm, during a hunt, near the tree and right under the branches found shelter with all the numerous following. The storm continued until evening, so the queen passed under the leaves of the chestnut tree the night, it is said, of one or more lovers among the knights in her suite. We do not know who the queen might be, according to some it could be Giovanna d’Aragona or, according to others, the empress Isabella of England, the third wife of Frederick II, according to others it could be Giovanna I d’Angiò whose history it will be connected to the Vespers insurrection (XIV-XV century). All these legends, most likely, are the result of popular imagination. In fact, Queen Giovanna d’Angiò, despite being known for a certain debauchery in love affairs, is almost certain that she was never in Sicily. Inspired by the legend, some poets sang the story of the chestnut and the queen, including Giuseppe Borrello and Giuseppe Villaroel who were among the major dialectal poets of Catania in the nineteenth century, and Carlo Parini.

Distance from the Bed and Breakfast: 7km / 8 minutes by car.

The beach of pebbles and dark stones is the main wealth of Fondachello and the Ionian Riviera Etnea, in the summer contributes to make the small town become a large tourist village with numerous bathing establishments, with very high share of visitors, mostly foreigners from around the world. From the years of the economic boom, the country of Fondachello, has been at the center of a growth and of a not indifferent tourist development, given the favorable geographical position and some kilometers of flat coastline composed mainly of pebbles, coming to constitute the holiday destination favorite of all tourists from all over the world, and an important tourist center. The village, from a small fishing village, has thus turned into one of the most chaotic seaside resorts of eastern Sicily, 9 kilometers from Taormina

Fondachello is also part of a cycle tour that starts from the village of Riposto Torre Archirafi and ends near the river Alcantara.

Distance from the Bed and Breakfast: 12 Km / 20 minutes by car.

One of the most characteristic places of the popular Catania is the fish market of the fishmongers always with colors, voices and smells. Another characteristic is the Piazza Carlo Alberto market, better known as Fera ‘or Luni, whose etymological root has often been questioned. The most widespread hypothesis is that it stands for “Monday Fair” because probably the market originally had to be active only for that weekly date. In the same square every Sunday there is an important market (Mercato Delle Pulci).

A “bric a brac” market is open on Sundays under the arches of the “marina” near the Villa Pacini. Another very popular market is the one held on Friday in Piazza I Viceré in the northern district of Barriera del Bosco. A no less important resource concerns the local markets of Catania.

(in Sicilian Trizza) is a fraction of the municipality of Aci Castello the landscape of Aci Trezza is dominated by the cliffs of the Cyclops, eight picturesque basaltic rocks that, according to legend, were launched by Polyphemus to Ulysses during his flight. The Faraglioni appear on the coats of arms of the municipalities of Aci Castello, Acireale, Aci Bonaccorsi, Aci Catena. Not far from the coast (about 400 m away), there is the Lachea Island, identified with the Homeric Island of the Goats (Isola delle Capre) and currently headquarters station of biology studies of the University of Catania. Fishing centre of ancient and remarkable tradition, is famous for its landscape.

Distance from the Bed and Breakfast: 10km / 20 minutes by car.