nearly 6,000 inhabitants and lying at 550m a.s.l., is especially
renowned as a ski resort. Its name, literally translating “tongue”
both in Italian (lingua) and Greek (tongue), refers, according to
an intriguing hypothesis, to its hot position on the slopes of the
volcano, many times invaded by its lava. It was supposedly founded
by survivors of Naxos as apparently attest some Greek relics unearthed
by the Ficheri creek.
city has much to offer both historically and artistically. Visitors
can begin with the 1600’s Mother Church dedicated to the Madonna
delle Grazie. Its façade combines lava and sand stone. Inside
it has three naves adorned with two beautiful paintings attributed
to Olivo Sozzi and a 1700’s carved wooden choir where are
illustrated scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.
church of the Immaculate Virgin, with an adjacent convent –
both dating from the early 1600’s – preserves the precious
“Custodia”, a wooden carved ciborium of the 18th century,
a carved walnut main altar and an altar-piece depicting the Immaculate
Virgin and the Saints.
the minor churches, a mention must go the Annunciation’s and
SURROUNDINGS AND THE ETNA
Linguaglossa environs offer a range
of landscape and opportunities. Hiking trails, ski facilities and
naturalistic areas like the Bosco di Linguaglossa, where are the
interesting Femmine, Palombe and Lamponi grottos, are major attractions
The Pro Loco’s office, in
the town’s main street, serves as the main reference point
for planning excursions up Etna. Information and explanatory boards
provide details about the park and the volcano that can be useful
when organising walks in the area.
the road to Mareneve, which is bordered by a nice pine-wood, you
reach Piano Provenzana, where you can park your car and undertake
the climb up to the craters.
up the North flank – Following a highly scenic route, a 4x4
mini-bus can take you up to 3000m altitude. A new observatory has
been built here, replacing the one destroyed by lava during the
1971’s eruption (lasting 69 days) which affected both the
southern (wiping out both the observatory and the ropeway) and the
eastern slopes, where the lava flow threatened some of the towns
below (notably Fornazzo and Milo), before stopping about 7km short
of the sea. From the observatory, at 2,750m, there is a magnificent
vista. The mini-bus can reach 3,000m where the more intrepid can
undertake a walk to the awesome vents. The route may vary according
to the latest outward signs given by the volcano. On the downward
return journey, you can stop at 2,440m and examine the craters that
were the cause of the 1809 eruption.
Eastern Route – From Piano
Provenzana, follow the scenic Mareneve road skirting the eastern
side of the mountain. Many farming villages have grown on the lower
slopes exploiting the fertile volcanic soil by cultivating vines
and citrus fruits.
Near Randazzo, just before taking
the road connecting Linguaglossa and Zafferana Etnea, it passes
the lava flow which incredibly spared the little Cappella del Sacro
Cuore (on the left), only sligthly penetrating it. Regarded as having
been preserved by a miracle, the chapel is a favorite goal of devotees,
who come here to give thanks, bearing ex-voto offerings. From Fornazzo
a road down to the left leads to Sant’Alfio.