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Among the most fascinating Etna destinations there is certainly the town of Trecastagni. Located on the south-eastern side of the volcano, along a trail of ancient extinct cones that rise towards the top of Mount Etna, Trecastagni is a lovely center where art meets religiosity and nature blends with architecture. There are many reasons to visit Trecastagni, and also to make it the basis of a possible Etna itinerary. We suggest at least five.

The story of the Three Saints

The history and also the name of Trecastagni are connected to the three holy martyr brothers Alfio, Cirino and Filadelfo. They lived in the 3rd century AD between Apulia and Sicily where they were martyred. In Trecastagni the three young saints made a stop during the transfer in chains to the place of martyrdom, Lentini. In their honor, a large Romanesque-Lombard style sanctuary (17th century) was built, here. It is charming with beautiful decorations and lava stone portals. Inside you can admire the statues of the three martyrs which are carried in procession on the day of the feast, May 10th.

trecastagni 5 reasonsThe spectacular staircase of San Nicola

The church of San Nicola is also the main church of Trecastagni. The current building is from the 17th century, although it was built over a previous 14th century church destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. What makes this church spectacular, in addition to its shape with the slender central bell tower projected towards the sky and the lava stone structure , is the fabulous staircase that connects it to the Provincial Road below. The staircase is made up of ramps and balconies which also allow for pleasant panoramic stops along the way.

Mount Ilice

Located in the territory of Trecastagni, this extinct volcanic cone takes its name from the oaks (ilici) that now completely cover it. This cone has also become part of Italian literature, described by novelist Giovanni Verga in his novel “Storia Di Una Capinera”. It is not clear when Mount Ilice was formed: maybe in the 11th century, according to other studies during the eruption of 1329.

Mount Gorna

Another cone located near Trecastagni is Mount Gorna. The shape of this ancient crater is more defined than others, and much more suggestive. Partly occupied by a farm, Mount Gorna can be explored with an easy trek of an hour and a half, following paths that cover approximately 6 km round trip. For those who love views and tastings, Mount Gorna is an unmissable destination.

At the center of many itineraries

Trecastagni is a quiet, relaxing, nice place and above all it is located in the heart of dozens of Mount Etna itineraries. Not far from the town’s center you can find and visit Pedara, Nicolosi and Belpasso. You can easily reach the Tarderia woods and Piano Vetore which are already at high altitude. The distance between Trecastagni and the Rifugio Sapienza, base of the Etna cableway, is only 20 km which can be covered in half-an-hour drive.

Trecastagni can be easily reached from the center of Catania, which is about 17 km away. There are buses and private vehicles that connect the central station and the airport directly with the town, thus making it an inseparable destination from Etna. (PHOTOS BY G MUSUMECI)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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