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The Simeto river canyon "La Cantera" is one of the most interesting naturalistic sites on Mount Etna, but unfortunately it is almost inaccessible. It's really narrow, a few hundreds meters long and has two impressive basalt walls digged by the river. It is located in the Bronte area.

You can find the starting point moving from Bronte towards Cesarò (SP17-III road), cross the "Cantera" bridge and go left at the first fork. Here you'll cross another bridge (this one is on the Troina river), next to an old ruined bridge. Turn left and leave the car, walk on this road for a few meters and you'll finally find a hole in the fence Simeto river Cantera gorges: hole in the fence.

Go down the path towards an old water mill Simeto river Cantera gorges: old water mill, you'll reach the bed of the river under the medieval bridge Simeto river Cantera gorges: bed of the river under the medieval bridge. The river is almost dried, we are in August. We had to cross a private property to get to this place; this is usually tolerated by the owners, but remember that this is not a natural reserve.

We follow the river flow Simeto river Cantera gorges: river flow, there are many dragonflies Simeto river Cantera gorges: many dragonflies and frogs. In a short walk we reach the junction between the Troina and the Simeto rivers, there's this increbile stone column Simeto river Cantera gorges: this increbile stone column created by the two rivers. Here we go left Simeto river Cantera gorges: Here we go left, trying to go against the Simeto flow, the canyon is really close Simeto river Cantera gorges: the canyon is really close.

Unfortunately, there is little water in the river, almost stagnant. There are many pumps to drain the water (probably not legally), even on the bed river Simeto river Cantera gorges: even on the bed river. Here is the canyon Simeto river Cantera gorges: is the canyon, deep and narrow. We would like to cross them swimming, but we changed our minds because of the stagnant water, the pumps and many pipes. This should be a protected area, but to be honest it seems more similar to an industry area: as often happens in Sicily, the nature is wonderful but we are not able to rispect it.

This is a unique place, just look at this incredible panorama: the river flows between the basalt and the sedimentary rocks Simeto river Cantera gorges: the river flows between the basalt and the sedimentary rocks, it divides Mount Etna from Nebrodi Mounts, but in this conditions it is not visitable by tourists.

If you decide to go there, PAY ATTENTION to the water and the flow, such a place can be really dangerous. The autumn is probably the best season to visit the gorges. In summer there's to little water, in spring there's to much, in winter it's too cold.



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