Spending a holiday on Etna is not just about taking a day trip to Europe’s highest active volcano. To live a complete experience it would be interesting to spend a few days visiting the “villages of Etna”, those small villages that exist at the foot of the Mountain, on which their economic life depends.
Bronte, Zafferana Etnea and Belpasso are some of these villages, and we talk about them today.
It was created in 1520 at the wish of Emperor Charles V of Hasburg. Today it is known as the city of pistachio. Bronte pistachio is a variety of pistachio with Protected Designation of Origin. The species has had particular development in the territory of Bronte, so that in 1860 entire pastures and uncultivated land were transformed into pistachios and the cultivated plant became the focus of the entire agricultural and economic system of the area. Every year the “pistachio festival” is held to celebrate this green gold pride of the inhabitants of the village. Bronte is also rich in historical monuments, especially churches. The Church of Sacrocuore, the Mother Church of the Holy Trinity, the Sanctuary of the Annunziata are just a few examples among the churches that survived to the various earthquakes.
Resource: city of Bronte
It rises at 574m. above sea level, on the eastern slopes of Mount Etna. It is one of the municipalities of the Etna Regional Park and its territory includes three large valleys:Valle del Bove, Val Calanna and Valle San Giacomo.
The village lies ina valley, at the foot of Monte Pomiciaro, Monte Zoccolaro and Fior di Cosimo, and overlooks the Ionian Coast.
A few kilometers from the main cities of Etna (Catania 24.6 Km, Taormina 36.6 km, Acireale 13.7km) is located halfway between the sea and the mountain. For this reason it is the preferred place for those who want to live surrounded by peacefulness. From Zafferana it is really easy to reach the volcano thanks to the provincial road of Etna that connects it to the touristic station of Rifugio Sapienza (Nicolosi) on one side, and to that of Piano Provenzana (Linguaglossa) on the other.
In Zafferana you can find a lot of winery, you can taste good wine joining our Etna & Wine tour.
Resource: city of Zafferana Etnea
Seen from above it looks like a large chessboard: the streets, called straight and crossbeam, intersect with each other creating a harmonious interweaving.
The life of this town is closely linked to Etna: among the various earthquakes that destroyed it, the most devastating was in 1693. So the city that was called “Malpasso” was destroyed and the inhabitants rebuilt it in a new site that took the auspicious name of Belpasso.
Resource: city of Belpasso