There is a place in Sicily holding a close link with the constellations. It arouses great interest among visitors seeming suspended between heaven and earth, fire and water. Many people are attracted by this striking landscape, rich in vegetation and orchards, as well as by that intense suggestion given by the sight of Mount Etna and the Alcantara river, symbols of fire and water.
We are talking about the rocky complex of Rocca Pizzicata, a little known place in the wonderful Alcantara Valley, near the town of Roccella Valdemone, in north-eastern Sicily, rising at an altitude of about 700 meters above sea level.
The writer Claudian described this place as “a terrible giant hanging on the mountains in the woods”: what an incredibly realistic description! You can go biking or climbing along a path that still preserves traces of the oldest settlements: carved steps, a cave tomb dating back to the Bronze Age (2000 BC), rocky millstones once used for the production of wine and oil. While walking along this spectacular path, your gaze will be immediately drawn by a few steps leading to a mysterious altar completely carved in sandstone.
The archaeoastronomers find Rocca Pizzicata a very interesting site due to some astronomical connections related to this altar: it marked, in fact, spring and fall equinoxes! From the top of the rock visitors can admire the whole Alcantara Valley which offers a breathtaking view of two wonders of nature: Mount Etna and the Alcantara river. Walking is hungry work!
What’s better than a break at Tenuta Rustica belonging to the Fisauli family since the sixteenth century? The farm’s owners Maria Paola Fisauli and Lillo Motta are ready to welcome their guests who will have the chance to taste an excellent extra virgin olive oil produced with “Nocellara Etnea” olive variety, as well as a great “Nerello Mascalese” wine and the very delicious fruits coming from their garden like peaches, pears, apples and apricots.