The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure part V

trinacria bella how sicily was born


 The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure  part V



Etna_DOC_TerritoryMessina DOClogo_faro










To complete our tour through “Culture and Arts of Pleasure” of Sicily , drive from south-east toward the “Mongibeddu ”, in Sicilian, the Beautiful Mountain,  entering the Etna DOC Wine Route ,which extends along the entire the foot of the the biggest active volcano of Europe.

Etna in Spingtime copy



The World Heritage Committee has inscribed Mount Etna natural sites from Sicily on the World Heritage List (Jun 21, 2013)

Mount Etna (SICILY)

This year 2013  the Etna Park  has been included by UNESCO among its Patrimony : In addition to wine, and food delicatessen,  the beauty of an unspoiled corner of nature really.

  • 19,237 uninhabited hectares on the highest part of Mount Etna
  • Mount Etna is the most active stratovolcano in the world
  •  The eruptive history of the volcano can be traced back 500,000 years
  • 2,700 years of this activity has been documented
  • Etna supports important terrestrial ecosystems including endemic flora and fauna
  • Its activity makes it a natural laboratory for the study of ecological and biological processes.  see also


Funghi di Ferla - togliere data

Bronte Castle  garden copyPistacchio di Bronte by Vanvakys copytagliatelle al pistacchio di Bronte by VRC 








Vineyard Etna _2 copy 2With its particular climate, and microclimates has a very fertile soil  lava for unique varieties such as Carricante, indigenous white grape , Nerello Mascalese, according to Homer  “Ulysses’s wine”, Nerello Cappuccio/Mantellato and Minnella, all grapes variety part of the Etna Rosso DOC . 




Sant'Alfio Etna CT  The church photo by Valeria Casale copyWe suggest to go up and visit  Sant’Alfio, the little village with it’s lava church, and all take a walk around the chestnut forest, home of  the oldest tree in Europe (3000 years). Many vineyards around this huge area, including Passopisciaro.






CASTIGLIONE Castello di Lauria foto di httpradiostereosantagata.blogspot.itEtna  the tree of the hundrend knights1 copyPalmento pressa small_2jpg Bronte Castle copy X Web









 The Castle of Castiglione di Sicilia, and proceeding toward north-east go directly to  ”Bronte” The city of pistachios” is a must: along with hundreds of dishes based on this delicious fruit, you can also visit the Norman Church, incorporated inside the Bronte’s Castle and the beautiful Simeto Valley and the  Nebrodi Park.


  From the sharp volcanic land with gentle slopes of the Aeolian Islands to finish the wine tour with the wine route in the province of Messina, from the city of the strait to the seven sisters of the Mediterranean. The DOC of the Faro and  Mamertino, cultivated along the hills of the “Nebrodi Mountains“, accompany offshore until the unmistakable taste of Malvasia Delle Lipari off the north-east coast, the seven Aeolian Islands  friendly and passionate just like Sicily.

The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure  part I

trinacria bella how sicily was born

 The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure  part I

by Salvatore Cottone aka Sotiris Vanvakys

edited by



There are 12 Wine Trails of Sicily, and most have names related to local D.O.C. wines (see the related map).


 Dyonisious putto wine copyBetween toasts (Salute!) these extraordinary paths will lead you to the discovery of a land blessed by the sun, the gods, and the ancient Trinacria: a civilization with more than three thousand years of history. According to Greek legend, Dionysius himself, the god of spirits, brought the young roots from the Magna Greciae to this fertile soil, created with the intention of growing excellent produce and, above all, the “divine nectar“.  




Cappella Palatina by VanvakysWe present these trails starting from the county of Palermo and follow the road to Monreale D.O.C., with more than 16,000 hectares of vineyards, of which Cataratto is certainly the king. The D.O.C. wines from these hills pertain to the counties of Sclafani, Contessa Entellina and Monreale, a name that brings to mind the beautiful Norman town with its famous cathedral-considered a virtual wonder of the world for the rich assortment of golden Byzantine mosaics that gild the cathedral’s interior. Curiously, the Cattedrale di Monreale contains the first holy image dedicated to Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, commissioned by his friend, Margaret of Navarre, wife of William I and mother of William II King of Sicily. She is buried in magnificent marble sarcophagus along with her two sons, Roger and Henry, together with an urn containing the viscera of Saint Louis of France, who died in 1270.

Slice of Cassata CakeConstruction of the church, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, was begun in 1174 by William II and was officially promoted to the designation of Cathedral in 1182. A distinct combination of three architectural styles- Norman French, Byzantine and Arab- the impressive and painstakingly detailed interior is a sight to behold. Be sure


visit the cloister of the abbey, an outdoor marvel of Norman Monreale Absideand Romanesque styles consisting of a perfect square of ornately carved arches in stone and limestone, depicting all manner of mythical, legendary and historical icons, including biblical figures, Norman knights and Arab warriors. The famous Arab Fountain in the southwest corner of the courtyard is exquisite. 



The territory within Monreale is vast. It is, in fact, the largest geographical province in all of Italy and incorporates the following municipalities:


Antipasti Siciliani small  copy 5Easter in Sicily the Devils dancing_8 Prizzi by copyFicuzza woods  copyCannoli Palermitani by VRC copy








Piana degli Albanesi to the north, arguably the home of the most famous cannoli, throughout Corleone and its forestal district of Ficuzza, and extending south to Prizzi, one of the capitals of Sicilian cheese, such as “pecorino cannestrato” and “caciocavallo”.


Prizzi Small  copyPasqua a Piana Degli Albanesi by VanvakysCastelvetrano - pane nero e olive di CastelvetranoPiana degli Albanesi Jewels SM








stock-photo-copyright-symbol-as-a-wax-seal-80699464The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure

by Salvatore Cottone New York, July 2013 Translation and editing by www.OnpointTranslation 


 >>Continue reading PART II >>