Surroudings

The surroudings
The old wheat way: in the past Romans considered Sicily as one of the most important wheat and wood suppliers; large forests and wheat fields covered the island; after the harvest those products were stored in strategic locations and from there shipped to Rome. One of the most important harbour was Halaesa (5); the ruins of this old city are preserved in the archeological site of Halaesa, about 10 km away from Casa Migliaca. To reach it follow SS113 driving in direction of Palermo for 1 km and turn left on the road leading to Tusa. After about 3 Km you’ll find the archeological site. For the same purpose towers intended to store wheat had been built; one of these, Torre Migaido (6) is in perfect conditions and still used but for different purpose. It is sited only 7 km away from Casa Migliaca direction Castel di Lucio; from there is possible to visit a local farm with a daily production of cheeses. The shortest way to reach the large wheat fields of central Sicily is going toward and past the town of Castel di Lucio and after a few km turning on the right side on a bumped road leading to Gangi and S. Mauro Castelverde through Passo di Malopasseto; from the saddle (passo) (7) is possible to admire the landascape characterized with wheat fields.

 

Towns and Villages around

– Pettineo: a small town of 1.600 inhabitants, on its territory lies Casa Migliaca; cosy neat and trim, the buit-up area is located around the ruins of the old castle; dense of steep narrow streets with citrus trees growing in the small garden of the houses. Should be taken a walk along lanes and courtyards of its medieval centre to discover beautiful landscapes among steeples and monastery and local people always sociable and open to foreigners.

Sea and nature

To the sea:
Tirrenian coast in proximity of Casa Migliaca shows a wild aspect with pebbles and rocks and offers a number of sites hardly frequented because of little difficulty to be reached; however in Castel di Tusa are beach resorts. Very gracious the beach in town in front of bar ristorante Le Lampare.
To those who like the sea in solitude and close in touch with natural roughness two beaches are suggested: Park the car at km 163,3 of SS113, then descend a trail by opening a gate that unknown have placed on public land (20 min. from Casa Migliaca). Park the car at km 168,9 of SS113 and step over road fences (25 min). For those who love sand beaches with facilities, bar, restaurant, renting, etc. Pollina and Cefalù in direction of Palermo or Capo D’Orlando in direction of Messina are suggested (40 min – 1 hour). little farther Capo Calavà near Gioiosa Marea and Tindari both in direction of Messina (1,2 hours).

On the mountains:
Casa Migliaca is located in central position between Nebrodi mountains and Madonie mountains and in proximity of the Sambughetti massif which is the origin of Tusa river. By walk or bicycle, Several excursions of various length and difficulties are possible. Madonie mounatains are steep, rocky and above a certain altitude without vegetation; the highest point Pizzo Carbonaro is close to 2000 mt and is reachable from Piano Sempria or Piano Battaglia (2-3 hours walk).

 

Sicily

From Casa Migliaca you can plan day-tours – with travel time of one or two hours – either by car or train, and still be back by dinner time:
the choice here is “which” Sicily?
Although Sicily is an island, not everyone realizes that it covers 25.708 square Km (9.942 square miles), is the largest island in the Mediterranean sea and due to its geographical location, its climate and its natural resources was the crossroads of peoples and cultures from Europe, Asia and Africa from the beginning of its history to the discovery of the new continents in the XV and XVI century.
History and morphology, religions and civilizations are intertwined, often generating contradictory characteristics in Sicily’s three main physical areas, so called “VALLI” during the Arab era: VAL DEMONE in the north, geologically Europe; VAL DI NOTO in the south-east, practically middle-east; VAL DI MAZARA in the south-west, morphologically Africa. Simplifying, three different sets of travel routes towards… different continents.

– Westerly Route: you may choose to catch a glimpse of Palermo with its flair, but don’t expect to be able to visit all its monuments and architectural treasures in just a few hours. Stroll through the streets, neighborhoods, markets, palaces and churches to get a “feeling” for this major Mediterranean city, half way between Europe and Africa. Alternatively, you may visit Monreale and its Cathedral with its magnificent mosaics and Cloister. As a further alternative, if you prefer landscapes, you may tour the coastline around Palermo to discover the beautiful and picturesque sea villages of Porticello Santa Flavia and Sant’Elia.

Etna

Casa Migliaca is a convenient base from where to start for a visit to Etna. It can be reached in about two hours: one can leave in the morning at eight o’ clock and be back easily at dinner time. There is the possibility to choose between any one of several itineraries. For instance go to Etna via A20 until to Capo d’Orlando, then across Nebrodi hills to Floresta (1200 m asl) with a beautiful sight over Tyrrhenian Sea and Aeolian Islands; then descend to Randazzo (754 m asl) in the valley of Alcantara river with a spectacular view over Etna, then, along north-east side of Etna, down to Linguaglossa ( and up to Piano Provenzana at an height of 2000 m asl. The return can be made via Linguaglossa, Piedimonte Etneo, Fiumefreddo in the east coast. From here one can take A19 to Messina, then A20 westbound to S. Stfano di Camastra. 
There are many possible alternatives depending on the curiosity and skill of the visitors and their interest in vulcanology and its phenomena. Besides science, one can discover the pistachio groves of Bronte and the famous pistachio sweeties, delicious. Or like to discover Etna wines by visiting the best cellars. For the latter exploration, it is advisable to have available an abstemious guide-driver. It is well known that Sicilian wines (especially in that territory) are recognized to be… generous. Etna was named in the past Mongibello (from latin mons and arab gebel) which would mean the mount of mountains. Nowadays there is a return to the more antique greek name. It is 3350 m asl high, has a base perimeter of 250 km, a pseudo cone surface of 1300 sq km. It is an active volcano “young” and therefore “lively”. ; the first phenomena are believed to take place “only” 700.000 years ago in the middle Pleistocene. It was born from the sea when Sicily was a great archipelago composed by many small islands. The area now occupied by Etna was probably a great gulf. Its thousands of years old and continual activity has built-up an unique volcanic system in many aspect different from other volcanos.
Of its peculiar morphology can be mentioned. a) The Dikes (Dicchi) in the “Valle del Bove”. They are relicts of the primeval structure of the volcano, made of intrusive rocks. b) Caves formed by flowing molten lava.

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