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With this article we want to inaugurate some very specific tourist suggestions, suitable in our opinion for every month and season of the year around our volcano. And in the first month of spring, we want to tell you about a perfect location for this season: the Favare of Maletto. In fact, in the past we had already described some tours to this locality on the west side of Mount Etna, but here we want to go back and tell you something more. So, take notes and then… call the guide!

What are the “favare”

The “favare” have nothing to do with the italian “fave” (broad bean plants), nor with any strange vegetable recipe! They are actually water streams. The term favara, in fact, comes from the Arabic fawra, which means “spring”. The favare are therefore small periodic watercourses, which do not last the whole year, but – when they are full – offer unique views.

water streams Favare of Maletto2How Favare of Maletto were born

The Favare of Maletto were born from a terrible event which is however also an incredible fortune. An eruption that probably started from what is now called Mount La Nave formed a huge lava barrier that cut the course of one of the Simeto’s affluent rivers, drying it up. When the lava cooled, a rock wall remained. Every year, when the snow melts, this rocky barrier is invaded by torrential waters coming down from the mountain. Not being able to flow in a linear way, the water filters between the stones and comes out divided into dozens of streams. These cut the underlying plain forming a real water network.

Why admire the Favare of Maletto in springtime

Because it is precisely in this season that the snow on Etna begins to melt. Usually between March and April the first streams come down from the top of the volcano, even if the full show is towards late spring-early summer. However, it is very interesting to go and see the favare area anytime, so beautiful with their green pastures and fields of flowers. Not far away are the small town of Maletto, the “capital of strawberries”, and the much more famous Bronte. Less than 15 km from the favare stands another fascinating water place that is worth visiting, the beautiful Gurrida Lake.

How to reach the favare

The favare are along the State Street 120 which connects Taormina and Messina to the province of Palermo, passing by the north and west sides of Etna. Along the SS 120, after the intersection with the Provincial Road 159 and in front of a roadman’s house, you will already see the Etna Park sign indicating the location.

For those arriving by car from Messina it is almost all direct way. While if you arrive from Catania you will first have to reach Taormina, via the A18 motorway. Then continue towards the Alcantara valley and the directions of Castiglione, Randazzo and Bronte. You can also get to the favare by completing a more fascinating and touristic tour of the volcano, passing through Nicolosi and continuing towards Adrano and Bronte. Then you will get to the territories of Maniace and Maletto. The reference airport, of course, is Catania – for those arriving from outside Sicily. (photos by Grazia Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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