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Nebrodi Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea

Villas in Sicily near the Nebrodi Mountains

Nebrodi MountainsThe Arabs described Nebrodi Mountains “an island within the island”. They host a unique and wonderful ecosystem, marked by thick woods, high pastures, abundance of lakes, rivers and natural springs, and a wide variety of plants and animals. West of them you may see Madonie Mountains, Peloritani Mountains to the east, the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands to the north, and Etna Volcano to the south. Visible in the distance from each crag on clear days, the so-called harsh peaks Rocche del Crasto resemble Dolomites’ peaks in northern Italy.

Height determines the presence of all different kinds of vegetation on these mountains: from sea-level up to 600-800m, Mediterranean evergreen maquis prevails; from 900 to 1200m vegetation consists mostly of oak woods and Turkey oaks copse. Above 1200 m, you may only find lofty woods with a prevalence of beeches and sparse Sycamore Maples. The undergrowth supports hollies, hawthorns, Daphne roses and a relict and very ancient species of yew-tree, surviving in particular microclimatic conditions.

The name Nebrodi derives from the Greek nebros, meaning fawn. Once the reign of fawns, today the park is the natural habitat for a wide variety of animals, visible at close range: small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, a large number of invertebrates, breeding birds and migratory birds. Most of them are a real gem for lovers of mountains fauna.

Common visitors will be stunned by the beauty and elegance of Nebrodi griffon and Golden Eagle, and will admire the semi-domesticated Sanfratellano horse and the Sicilian black swine. Human presence is very minimal and less intrusive than in other parts of the island. You may still find small villages - once medieval suburbs – keeping their own traditions intact. A lot of picturesque structures are still visible: old shepherds barns, mills, weaving mills for flax production and farmhouses. Typical products reflect the locals’ ages-old traditional crafts. Dairy products and prepared meat products (as sausages of Sicilian black swine) are particularly tasty and renowned. Special areas called “barracche” are scattered in the woods to offer visitors a taste of typical gastronomic specialties.

Nebrodi mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea are closely related. Firstly, Nebrodi Mountains gently descend onto Tyrrhenian blue waters, offering a wonderful view of the coast. Secondly, all Nebrodi Mountains streams (Fitalia, Rosmarino and several others) flow into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Therefore, we strongly advise you to take a stroll down the maritime side of the mountains to reach the seashores. Visit one of the splendid Tyrrhenian beaches, inlets and resorts (Capo d’Orlando, Brolo, Gioiosa Marea and Tindari). It is no accident if they are such a favourite destination for so many tourists!

Picking mushrooms in the Nebrodi area

Are you a mushroom enthusiast? Nebrodi Natural Park houses a wide variety of mushroom species; not only Boletes, but also Boletus Aereus, better known as black boletus or black cep, Pleurotus Eringii, parasol mushrooms, Liophillum and Amanita Caesarea. If you mean to enjoy a good picking, please follow the rules fixed by the park management. First of all, every picker is allowed only a limited amount of mushrooms and must pay a special charge. Pickers must not damage non edible mushrooms, because they are important for reproduction process of esculent species, despite common belief. Furthermore, if you are not an expert, you’d better request the advice of a good guide, in order to avoid the poisonous Amanita Phalloides or the lethal Amanita Pantherina.

Villas in Sicily near the Nebrodi Mountains

On the Nebrodi Mountains

Waterfalls on the Nebrodi

The Biviere Lake

The Nebrodi Mountains Fauna

Charming spot on the Nebrodi

Picking mushrooms

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