I parchi ad est dell’Etna

postato in: All posts, Italia, Smart Tips | 149

Un vulcano di 3.000 metri che dall’alto dona vita e ansie ai piccoli centri che ne costellano le pendici. L’Etna da milioni di anni è il simbolo della Sicilia Orientale, una terra colorata di nero su cui continuamente germoglia nuova vita, per poter essere distrutta e poi rinascere in un ciclo continuo.

Ai piedi del vulcano, frutto delle azioni eruttive relativamente recenti, sorgono numerosi parchi, oggi aree protette, dall’alto valore naturalistico, geologico e botanico. Una passeggiata tra questi parchi è un ottimo modo per cominciare a conoscere e capire la vera forza di questa montagna mai addormentata.

1° tappa_I Monti Rossi

sicilyng-parchi-etna-blog-tour (2)Due coni piroclastici formatisi alle pendici del vulcano Etna, a nord di Nicolosi. La spaventosa eruzione dell’11 marzo 1669 ha segnato fortemente questi territori, con fenditure lunghe km e colate laviche che raggiunsero il porto di Catania. Circondati dalle rocce nere dell’Etna i due coni prendono il nome dal terreno rosso che li caratterizza, è questa infatti la loro particolarità, dovuta al passaggio della lava, che ha bruciato il terreno con le sue temperature. I Monti Rossi rappresentano sin dai tempi del Grand Tour una tappa fondamentale, fu anche infatti Goethe a ricordarli nelle sue memorie siciliane. Sulle Pendici dei Monti Rossi si snoda un sentiero di circa 3 mila metri; il primo tratto porta ad un’ampia radura, dove ci sono le così dette bombe vulcaniche: masse di lava perfettamente sferiche, che devono la loro forma al gas che hanno intrappolato al loro interno durante l’eruzione.

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Percorrendo il sentiero si arriverà al cratere. Da qui un ulteriore sentiero, attraverso ginestre e lecci, gira intorno alla parte ai due monti e raggiunge la parte più alta. Da qui il panorama spazia su tutta la Piana di Catania e permette di seguire con lo sguardo il percorso delle colate laviche del 1669 che, dopo aver circondato Mompilieri, arrivarono fino alla spiaggia.

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2° tappa_Parco del Monte Ceraulo

Come la maggior parte del territorio che circonda l’Etna, anche il Monte Ceraulo nacque dalla sovrapposizione di diverse colate laviche, testimonianza di quel che resta del Bosco Etneo, una boscaglia che caratterizzava un tempo l’intera area sud del vulcano. Il Parco, tutelato dalla Regione Sicilia dal 1993, si trova sul territorio di Mascalucia e rappresenta forse l’ultimo scorcio di pura macchia mediterranea, con querce, ginestre e una varietà di prelibati funghi porcini.

L’area naturale rappresenta un bellissimo scorcio dove fare una piacevole sosta mentre ci si avvicina al cratere dell’Etna. Arrivati al Parco, alcuni sentieri si addentrano nel bosco, con percorsi circolari che vi riporteranno facilmente al punto di partenza. Lecci, ulivi, cespugli di ginestra e valeriana rappresentano la flora lungo tutto il percorso, inoltre delle aree attrezzate con punti di osservazione per le specie vegetali e animali permettono di ammirare un ambiente selvaggio che continuamente traspira profumi perduti.

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3° tappa_Parco del Monte Troina

sicilyng-parchi-etna-blog-tour (10)Pedara, come Mascalucia, è uno dei centri dell’ultima fascia urbana attorno all’Etna, sul versante sud; centri rimasti fuori dall’urbanizzazione selvaggia, ultimo baluardo verso le ricchezze naturalistiche del vulcano.

Appena a sud del suo territorio si eleva il Monte Troina, piccolo cono spento, un tempo generatore di continui mutamenti del territorio. Da queste parti l’autunno è stagione di fermento e attività, il paesaggio è colorato dai numerosi vitigni e il profumo di mosto si diffonde. Solo grazie agli interventi negli ultimi anni anche sui terreni del Parco del Monte Troina sono stati reimpiantati numerosi vitigni, con la classica coltivazione ad alberello, che ridanno anima e colore ai terrazzamenti lungo i crinali. Accedendo dall’area nord del Parco il sentiero guida ad una piccola scalinata e poi ad un’antica trazzera, tipica via di campagna, delimitata dai tipici muri a secco in pietra laviche e che risalendo il crinale del conetto permette una passeggiata fino alla sommità. Da qui ammirate il panorama, riempite i polmoni dei profumi della macchia mediterranea e preparatevi per la prossima tappa.

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4° tappa_Parco del Monte Serra

sicilyng-parchi-etna-blog-tour (8)Situato nel comune di Viagrande, il Parco del Monte Serra occupa più di 30 ettari. Il Parco protegge un ricco ambiente naturale offrendo ai visitatori un oasi di verde facilmente accessibile; la caratteristica del Parco è il piccolo cono vulcanico sul quale si sviluppa, ricoperto da un bosco di querce.

Negli anni, grazie all’intervento dei volontari dell’Associazione Monteserra, la gestione del parco si è indirizzata, oltre che verso la tutela della natura, anche verso la promozione della didattica per bambini, ragazzi e adulti curiosi, con una serie di attrazioni, che in diversi periodi dell’anno richiamano i visitatori da più parti.

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Da non perdere, nel periodo autunnale, è il Bosco dei Ciclamini, un bosco di Roverelle, che al momento della vasta fioritura, formano un colorato tappeto; fiore all’occhiello, visitabile da maggio a novembre, è la Casa delle Farfalle (di cui parleremo approfonditamente in un post successivo) unica del sud Italia, che permette di immergersi in due serre, una tropicale, con diverse  specie di tutta la fascia equatoriale e una serra di farfalle siciliane. Uno spettacolo per ogni età.

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