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Monti Sicani & Belice

MONTI SICANI

Where nature becomes culture and the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus found it’s end, the wild environment of the Sicani Mountains whispers from ancient times. Here is the origin of the island’s most important rivers and water resources including the oldest one, Platani river, called the Halykos by the Greeks…

Located in the central southern part of Sicily between Agrigento and Palermo, the untouched nature and argillaceous hills of this area are mostly used as a pasture land. Here in heights from 900 to 1500 meters two ancient archaeological sites call back to the era of the Sicani, the first indigenous people in Sicily, who lived as nomadic breeders and permanent farmers. Embedded in the heart of the Monti Sicani is the rural village Santo Stefano Quisquina, where the craftsmanship and the pastoral vocation have not lost their roots. Exploring this characteristic area one seems to go back decades. Until today the territory allows several farms and animal husbandries to produce typical products with high quality. Sicilian cheese specialities like Ricotta and Tumazza are at home here. Other towns that belong to the Nature Park a part of Santo Stefano are: Bivona, Burgio, Cammarata, Castronovo of Sicily, Chiusa Sclafani, Contessa Entellina, Giuliana, Palazzo Adriano, Prizzi, San Giovanni Gemini, Sambuca di Sicilia

VALLE DEL BELICE

Along the pliant course of the river Belice, between the areas of Trapani and Agrigento extends one of the most beautiful territories of western Sicily. An area rich in history, traditions, nature and gastronomic excellency. For those who are looking for a crystal clear sea, unspoiled nature and enchanting beaches, the Nature Reserve of the Belice River and it’s surroundings is certainly the best spot to discover the magical inland of Sicily. Especially the fauna and flora of the dual formations close to the municipalities of Castelvetrano and Menfi offers a special atmosphere which with all it’s colors calls to mind the African continent. Historically the area retraces a  period of interest of over 2500 years. Numerous archaeological sites, like the important Greek ancient city of Selinunte reveal more about the dominations that reach from the first centuries before Christ to the splendor of the Greek colonies and the Norman and Spanish conquerers. But also recent history left traces here. During the disastrous earthquake on January 14th and 15th 1968 up to 400 people died and 100,000 people were left homeless. The centre of the earthquake sequence was measured between the towns Gibellina, Salaparuta and Poggioreale which were completely destroyed. Because Sicily lies on a complex convergent plate boundary between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate, the history of island self is marked by huge destructive nature phenomenons like earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

HOW TO ARRIVE

  • From Palermo and Trapani two main roadways (SS121 and SS115) cross the both areas and head to the towns of Sciacca and Agrigento.
  • By plane you can reach the island within the International airports of Palermo, Catania and Trapani