Gola di Alcántara (CT)

A popular family visit - guaranteed to have no cultural content (unless you are a geologist). The Gorge of Alcántara is a narrow cleft through which the Alcántara river forces a passage. The water is freezing cold, even in July. The natural resource has been most pleasingly exploited - you hire a pair of thigh-length waders (unless you've brought your own wetsuit - I might if I was going again). Wearing these you go down in a lift (!) to a kind of beach where the river emerges from the rocks. Then you wade upstream as far as you dare - even for a tall person the water soon comes over the top of your waders - and it's now impossible to swim (and very difficult to walk). There are waterfalls to add to the excitement. Eventually you'll give up, and join the locals who just come here to sunbathe and picnic on the rocks. But this is a truly refreshing summertime experience.

On the way back to Giardini-Naxos you could divert to the tiny hilltop village of Motta di Camastra. I guarantee you will be the only tourist (probably the only one this year). This was the base of Don Ciccio, who wooed Daphne Phelps unsuccessfully when she first came to Sicily in 1948 - then a dashing young Don with a motorcycle, the ultimate postwar status symbol. The legend is that when visited by some wealthy foreign friends of Daphne, who had a car, he reassured them about leaving it parked in a remote spot in the hills. All he needed was to leave his hat prominently displayed, and this prize target for any Sicilian would remain untouched. I fancifully imagined that the portly gentleman in his shirtsleeves snoozing outside the only bar in the village in 1993 was actually the very same Don Ciccio. Why not?


Use the table below to find your way around Sicily:

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