Saturday, 28 May 2011
Near the northwestern edge of Mount Etna’s flows you can find the gorges of the Simeto (shallow compared to those in southeastern Sicily, like Pantelleria and Fiume Cassibile), with the four-arched (now) Saracen bridge crossing the flow (at 37.70094,14.79976; you can see the span in satellite view) northwest of Adrano.
I’m not sure how much of what we saw is ancient, or if mostly it’s just the stones—some of them—that are ancient, but the bridge is fascinating, with its undulating deck and multi-colored stones. I found the alternating light/dark of the facing stones of the arches mesmerizing.
From there, we went north-ish to Randazzo, then crossed the mountains to the north, sneaking peeks at Mount Etna in the rearview mirror. The pass where we left it behind was a gap, and unremarkable. On the north slope, we found trees, especially pines, whereas the south slope was mostly denuded (or with no trees)—as you can see in the bridge photo. Not sure how factors like prevailing weather patterns, soils, etc. play into this.