north. An excursion to Cava Grande provides the opportunity of exploring
a small and forgotten corner of the Iblei Mountain landscape, that
karst range dominating the southeast part of Sicily. This itinerary
off the beaten track will be of particular interest to nature-lovers.
Turn off the road from Palazzolo Acreide to Noto for Avola; then
take the secondary road signposted for Cava Grande. Leave the car
at the viewpoint from where there is a magnificent view over the
Cava Grande Gorge plunging down between impressively tall and sheer
limestone cliffs. Along the valley bottom winds the river which
opens out intermittently to make a succession of tiny lakes, accessible
by a path leading down into the gorge. Slightly to the left, a cave
may be seen excavated from the rock: this is the so-called Grotta
dei Briganti (Bandits Cave), just one of the many rock-hewn dwellings
in this settlement, and another example of the type so commonly
found throughout the rocky landscape of south-east Sicily. It is
thought that this particular cave was used as a tannery.
– It takes half an hour to walk down to the river, or cava
as it is known locally – allow twice that time to climb back
to the top. The track, which at times becomes quite difficult to
follow, cuts its way along the river through luxuriant vegetation.
After a few hundred metres, the bush gives way to an open clearing
around a series of natural rock pools created by the river, complete
with flat rounded slabs of rock ideal for whiling away a moment
or two in the sunshine. In summer, the cool water is very tempting.
Furthermore the rock pools are surrounded on all sides by the most
idyllic scenery far removed from anything found elsewhere in Sicily,
and so providing an unusual and highly recommended alternative to
a swim in the sea off the Syracuse coast.
Porto Palo di Capo Passero
Eremo San Corrado
Laghetti Di Avola
Marina Di Avola
Marina Di Noto
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Guide of Sicily
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