THE PANTALICA, VALLEY OF THE ANAPO AND CAVA GRANDE STREAM
The Reserve, founded in July 1997, is in the area of the “Iblei plateaux”, which characterizes a large part of south-
The Iblei Plateaux and the “Gullies”
The vast Iblei tableland rose from the bottom of the sea through the superimposition of layers of calcareous sediments and volcanic effusions on Cenozoic seabed; thus from the geological point of view it represents an autonomous structure in relation to the rest of Sicily. The central point of the region is Monte Lauro (986m above sea level), a very ancient extinguished submarine volcano, from which in a radial fashion there originated the Iblei orographic system, entirely lying in the south-
Thus these are unique environments, which have no rivals on the island, and ones in which the abundance of flowing waters, the big permanent ponds, the elevated humidity, the protection afforded by sheer rocks and slight or entirely absent human activity have allowed the survival of important – and sometimes exceptional – ecological niches, significant reference points for plant complexes and for animal life.
The Natural Environment of the Reserve
The territory of the reserve therefore constitutes a remarkable complex of major interest in terms of geomorphology, nature, landscape, history and archaeology, and also ethno-
On the tableland and in the various gullies (Anapo, Cava Grande, Calcinara and the gully of the Mills) the Reserve contains important Mediterranean and hygrophilous plant associations. Especially where perennial water flow, particularly significant in the tangle of riparian vegetation are arboreal plants, with Platanus orientalis, Salix pedicellata, Populus nigra and Populus alba, Quercus pubescens, shrubby ones with Nerium oleander, Clematis vitalba, Mirtus communis, Equisetum ramosissimum, Solanum dulcamara, Sambucus nigra, Adiantum capillus veneris, etc., and herbaceous ones with hygrophilous Sparagnium erectum and Tipha latifolia. Below the plateau to the rocks there cling Putoria calabrica, Elicrisum scandens, Dianthus carthusianorum, Capparis spinosa and yellow euphorbias, which general characterise the landscape of the gullies in Syracuse province; lastly, on the plateaux, the low bushes of Mediterranean maquis and some species of evergreen oaks are found.
The Signs Of Man’s Presence
Ancient frequentation of the area is testified by numerous Byzantine churches and necropolises, the best-
THE PATH IN THE RESERVE
1. “Saramenzana”(0,97km): from the Fusco entrance goes down to the pebbly shore of the River Anapo and then back up again, as far as the archaeological area.
2. “Bisanti” (1,25km): it flanks the Anapo, affording beautiful view of the North necropolis of pantalica, and joins up with path 1.
3. “North Necropolis” (1,35km): you get to it form Path 1, or from regional highway 11 (from Sortino), and it goes down to the Calcinara stream, having crossed which it goes up again, on the opposite side, as far as the road for Ferla.
4. “Anaktoron” (1,35km): from the line of the former railway, going up from the valley bottom, it reaches the Byzantine village of San Nicolicchio and the remains of the “prince’s Palace”.
5. “Filipporto saddle” (1.1km): it starts near the former railway station of Pantalica and leads to the Byzantine village of San Micidiario and the Filipporto necropolis, ending on regional highway 11, where you can get onto Path 3 and 4.
6. “Giglio spring” (0,3km): from former railway as far as the Anapo and the giglio spring.
7. “Giarranauti” cycle-
The portion of the Valley of the Anapo between the two entrances to the Reserve is also crossed by the former railway, easy and pleasant to go along, from which you can get onto many of the previously indicated paths.
HOW TO REACH
By car: The entrances to the Reserve can be reached from Syracuse and Catania (SS114-
To the Pantalica necropolis and the "Prince Palace" proceed from Syracuse on state highway SS114 to Floridia and from there to continue in the direction of Sortino and Ferla until you meet the special signs.
Special Thank you for the text to the "Azienda Regionale Foreste Demaniali"