A very long stage, although without difficulties or major differences in altitude.
We cross the beautiful Bosco di Mangalaviti with centuries-old beech trees, then Lago di Biviere (with a view of the Rocche del Crasto) and Lago di Maulazzo...
Very long stage, which should be tackled well trained; good if you start early (there are no intermediate stops).
Signposts are not always present, monitor the GPS track (anyhow the route is always very clear).
Only water point just before Lake Maulazzo: take a good supply with you.
We leave Floresta on an asphalted road; after a few kilometres we take the small road (still asphalted) on the left and climb slowly (about 100 m height difference), then descend with the same difference in altitude on a bumpy road to the Grassetta torrent; we leave the asphalt and take a road (called Dorsale dei Nebrodi), cross the torrent and climb again (about 250 m height difference) without exerting ourselves excessively. We stay on the wide ridge in comfortable ups and downs and approach Pizzo Scavello, then we enter the Bosco di Mangalaviti and climb gently to Serra Pignataro; the wooded landscape is magnificent.
From Serra Pignataro (1,653 m) we descend (about 350 m drop) to Lago Biviere, the only natural lake in the Nebrodi, characterised by a particular alga (Euglena sanguinea) that colours it red in summer. To the north, there is a beautiful view of the Rocche del Crasto, made of dolomite rock, and the Aeolian Islands (Alicudi and Filicudi).
After a short flat section, we cross the Cuderi stream and climb (about 100 m height difference) to Lago Maulazzo. After walking along its north-western shore, we climb again (about 100 m height difference) to reach the asphalt road: we are at the Portella di Femmina Morta (1,526 m: the highest road pass in Sicily). We take the road to the left and after a few hundred metres we reach the Rifugio Villa Miraglia.
The entire Sicilian territory is rich in myths and legends from the Hellenistic period.
Among the myths is that of the Aeolian Islands, which is obviously linked to the wind god Aeolus. The myth tells that Aeolus was given the task by Zeus to control the winds after they had detached the island from the continent. Aeolus chose the island of Lipari to keep safe in a cave, enclosed in a wineskin.
An episode in the Odyssey is also linked to the Aeolian Islands: The poem relates that Aeolus gave Odysseus an emotional welcome by presenting him with the wineskin, which held the winds against his course. While Odysseus was resting, his companions opened the wineskin, believing it to be full of treasure, and a storm broke out from which only the Homeric hero’s ship was saved from the entire fleet.
On the slopes of Monte Soro lies Lago Maulazzo, a 5-hectare reservoir created in the 1980s.
Surrounded by the beech woods of Sollazzo Verda, it is a picturesque place that attracts many local tourists who come to enjoy the scenery on festival days.
Among the animal species that populate the Nebrodi Park is the Nebrodi black pig, which can move and feed freely among the fifty thousand hectares of beech and oak forests - which are surrounded by movable fences.
It is very similar to the wild boar and is characterised by its small size and fur covered with thick dark bristles. It is traditionally bred in the wild or semi-wild and is one of the few indigenous pig breeds to survive in Italy (most have been replaced by more productive pigs from central Europe). The meat of the black Nebrodi pig, which is protected by the Slow Food Praesidia, has always been used to make classic cured meats such as sausage (fresh or dried), Salame Fellata, Capocollo and Pancetta and Prosciutto. In recent years, breeding of this ancient breed, also known as the “black Sicilian pig” or “black Etna”, has increased (its presence is already mentioned in Greek and Carthaginian times). The black Nebrodi pig is very fertile and better able to resist diseases and climatic adversities.
Rifugio Villa Miraglia, 500 m South of Portella Femmina Morta. Tel. +39095 883 4898
The starting point is accessible by car.
The starting point can be reached by bus, starting from the city of Catania.
Here is the LINK to check the timetable.
The starting point is NOT accessible by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.