Middle Valley of Simeto

In its middle course, the Simeto river flows from north to south among the bare hills

Middle Valley of Simeto

The Simeto river flows from north to south between the bare hills, foothills of the Erei Mounth, and Mount Etna. On the side of Etna, develops a series of towns.

The surrounding countryside, from the river to the first slopes of the volcano, are constituted by lush citrus groves. Climbing the “Mountain” you meet orchards, forests of holm oaks, beautiful pine forests to meet a volcanic desert. Scattered on the slopes, dozens of craters side, the youngers, still naked and blacks, others covered with shrub or arboreal vegetation.

The average Simeto valley was inhabited in prehistoric times and was the seat, of the most important Sicilian settlements. Adrano near the site of the ancient city of Mendolito, and it became well known in Roman times. An important transit route between Troina and the slopes of Etna, required a bridge construction that is now called the “Saracens”, restored and worthy of a visit. About another bridge, even older, that of Pietralunga, remain a few elements. The Norman Roger, Count of Sicily, built along the valley a belt of forts, similar each other, that we find in Adrano, Paternò and Motta.

They are essentially towers with wide square base, technically called “dungeons”. Restored and put to the exposure of museum collections, can all be visited. You can accomplished walks along the shores of the Simeto to admire the gorges carved by the river in an ancient lava bed, now protected by a nature reserve, known as “Ingrottato lavic of the Simeto”.  Fascinating and rich of specialized fauna, the lakeside environment has developed around the reservoir created by the dam of Ponte Barca.

At the base of the cliff on which stands Motta, has recently developed a natural trail that allows you to admire from below the “neck”, i.e. , the neck of the volcano that was never able to get into business. On it stands the castle. The itinerary also allows you to appreciate the interesting phenomenon of the gullies in the clay underlying Sieli valley.