Home » Routes » MTB »


Gazzena – Villa Calanna

 Itinerari_MTB  Gazzena2  Chiazzette2


Area of great interest, because almost undamaged despite the nearness with a great residential area, Gazzena (medieval term gazum meaning wood) made up of two plains opening onto the beach of Acquegrandi, originally cultivated as olives and vines. From a geological point of view, these two plains are placed at different level and bordered by two faults. These show a structural trend represented by a typical step outline (step and pool) characterising the Timpa in Acireale.

The dry low walls and channelling works of important value crossing the whole area are still visible. The vegetation is represented by garigue shrubs (degraded macchia). There are also edges of oak, nettle-tree and terebinth wood, of particular value in the most inaccessible and unreachable points of the reserve. You can enter the path passing through via “Dei Maceratoi” near Capo Mulini, just a few steps from the hotel Perla Ionica. Going along this street and after having parked the car, you reach a path leading to the sea. From this path you can admire the whole inferior plain of Gazzena, which once was a fructuous vineyard. Reached the imposing dry wall delimiting the big plain with the side of scarp overhanging the sea, go along this street northward till reaching a passage. A few meters ahead, near an Eucalyptus macchia, turn left and go along the path which brings to the scarp base. Going up the step flight which allows an easy ascent, you can admire strong lava flows, bared by the fault movement. It is on this rock you can read the inscription: “Arcangelo Calanna benefited this land in the year of Our Lord 1868”. After having reached the plateau, continue westward till a big crossroads, go westward (left) till Villa Calanna, a very beautiful manor house with millstone, cellars and other buildings used for olive and grape processing. Further up you can reach Casazza, ancient urban concentration of rural houses. These buildings, not yet valued, as they have to be, preserve characteristic features of the gentleman’s buildings in Sicily. In the internal part Villa Calanna you can observe rooms with very beautiful frescoed vaults. From the Villa, looking towards South-East you can admire an intact water channelling system (saja) around a majestic pressure circle, a laval duct that during eructation for the increase of the internal pressure has swollen up till breakage.

On the way back, there is a perfect alternative: after the first tract of about 500 metres at the junction turn left and go along the path till reaching a big group of buildings recently reconstructed. In this point, the scarp shows its maximum displacement of about 200 m.

From here, go along the path southward till rejoining the already passed street.

Length g/r 3 km

Ramp: 40 m

Difficulty: medium

Walking times: 2 hours

Refreshments: –

Geological peculiarities: Overlapping of ancient lavas, step faults