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Mount Etna is a romantic volcano, more than you think. What is better than enjoying a eruption together, hand in hand? Or admiring the view of the coast and inner Sicily from the top? Try a dinner for two at Sapienza Refuge, surrounded by the snow and sunset. Try a lunch at one of the panoramic restaurants in Milo or Sant’Alfio. There are many locations, on Mount Etna and all around, where you can celebrate your romantic Valentine’s Day and enjoy being in love. Here you are some nice ideas for couples … no matter sex and age!


Acireale and the lovers Akis and Galatea

Akis and Galatea are the “Romeo&Juliet” of the ancient Greek age. Their story is told everywhere, in Southern Italy, so as the story of giant Polyphemus who wanted them to break up. At the foot of Etna, on the lavic plateau where the town of Acireale stands, the tale becomes real. As the myth says: Akis was a young shepherd who fell in love with Galatea, the daughter of the god of sea. Galatea also was in love with him.

The love of the two kids, however, was hindered by the jealousy of the cyclops Polyphemus. Madly in love with the beautiful girl, the giant killed Akis by throwing a boulder of lava at him. Touched by the pain of Galatea, who mixed her tears with Akis’ blood, Zeus transformed both lovers into water. Today he is a freshwater river, which flows from the rocks into the sea, where she will be waiting for him.

You can enjoy a fish-based dinner in Santa Maria la Scala, a seaside village in Acireale, and the exact point where the Akis river flows into the Ionian Sea.

The Casa del Nespolo in Aci Trezza

Not far from Acireale rises Aci Trezza. In the town of the nineteenth-century novel of “Malavoglia” there will be opportunities for candlelit dinners in one of the many local trattorias. You can also stroll hand in hand along the seafront, admiring the lavic  stacks.

But if you can, go and visit the Casa del Nespolo (house of medlar). It is a small museum housed in an old fisherman’s house. It recalls the house described by novelist Giovanni Verga, in the finale of the famous novel, when the youngest of the Malavoglias, Alessi, rebuilds the family – now lost – by marrying his Nunziata. The love story between Alessi and Nunziata grows almost secretly in the course of the novel, the reader does not notice it because he/she is intent on following the events of the protagonists Ntoni, Mena and Lia. But it is a very tender love story, which we invite you to read again, together with Verga’s book. It is no coincidence that it gives a happy ending to the whole plot.

The Salto del Pecoraio in Adrano

In the municipal area of ??Adrano, on the south-western flank of Etna, the Simeto river flows during its tumultuous descent towards the plain of Catania and the sea. Here, the river creates ponds, waterfalls and eddies among the ancient lava rocks, also crossed by a spectacular pointed bridge. The bridge is called bridge of Saraceni (video here). Not far from it, there is a waterfall called the Salto del Pecoraio (shepherd’s jump).

The legend tells of a young shepherd who, seeing his beloved girl arriving on the other bank, decided to jump over the river. He could not  wait any minute longer to reach the bridge. Taking the run, he aimed at the narrowest point between the two banks and took a big leap, landing in front of her!
The suggestion is to admire this waterfall from the top of the romantic bridge of Saraceni, and then have your Valentine’s dinner in one of the farmhouses that surround the town of Adrano.

Angelina and the Prince in Francavilla

On the north side of Etna, love passes from Castiglione di Sicilia to stop in Francavilla. In Castiglione you can admire a beautiful castle that the guides use to tell the story of Angelina and the Prince. But the real “castle of Angelina” is the one in ruins, on the hill above Francavilla di Sicilia.

Angelina was the beautiful daughter of the local castle lord. The Prince of France himself fell in love with her. But the outbreak of the Sicilian Vespers revolution turned the French into enemies, so the prince had to flee. Before he went he promised that he would come back, one night, to get her. While waiting for him, Angelina stayed on watch for days. And when she couldn’t resist, she left her servant Franca in her place. “Franca, watch for me!”, she begged. It was Franca herself who saw the signals of the returning prince.

Angelina and the Prince were therefore able to leave together. And out of gratitude they named the fiefdom after the young servant, Franca che Veglia (Franca who watched) … Francaviglia … Francavilla. In the village there is no shortage of nice places to enjoy a dinner together, but if you are looking for the view, go up to Castiglione and admire Angelina’s places from above. (PHOTOS BY G. MUSUMECI).

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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