Scala dei turchi: Stairway of the Turks
Is one of the most surreal and unique places of Sicily, located on the coast, which starts from the town ofPorto Empedocle characterized by small beaches surmounted by a cliff in white marl, a sedimentary rock of limestone and clay, with its characteristic pure white color, on the seafront near the town of Realmonte. In August 2007 the province made an official request to the UNESCO to make this site, along with the villa aurea (Roman times), in the list of World Heritage sites.
The name of the Stairway of the Turks comes from its natural form smoothed by the wind over the centuries and from the incursions by Arab populations who, according to legend moored their ships in the waters of the marl bay which represented an excellent less windswept protected harbor.
The Stairway of the Turks is located approximately ten miles from the town of Porto Empedocle. In 2003, the municipality decided to adoptVigata as the second name of the place, in homage to the main character of the novels of the Sicilian writer Andrea Camilleri:Commissario Montalbano.
The ruins of the ancient Greek city reported in the “Verrine” of Cicero can be found in the archaeological area of the roman town ofCattolica Eraclea in the province of Agrigento. Its name comes from Eracle and from the legend that King Minos chased Dedalo up to this place in Sicily to punish him for his help given to Ariadne and Theseus to go out of the Cretan Labyrinth. Minos would then have perished in these places by the hand of the a sican king. From the plateau on which are the ruins of the city and of the theater one can enjoy a wonderful view of the pine forest as part of the natural reserve of the river Platani and the blue color of the Mediterranean sea that breaks on the white cliffs of calcareous marl.
“The roofs siculiana impressed me for their cubistic impression”, wrote Moravia about this unusual town in the province of Agrigento.
Placed on a hill, on the road from Agrigento to Sciacca, characterized by a seventeenth-century church and a castle of Arab origin then rebuilt in the fourteenth century by Federico Chiaramonte, located in a quaint old town where tradition and the scent of dishes served by small restaurants pervade the air of this town that dominates the valley in front of the Mediterranean Sea. Strolling in relax through the narrow streets of the town, is surely one of the experiences to do in this place.
Siculiana stretches on the coast in the locality Torre Salsa, a regional natural reserve of special interest for its nature and environment, currently under the control of the WWF. Among the sand dunes of the coast live rare plant species and if one is lucky, it is also possible to encounter the rare turtles “Carretta Carretta”who chose on the white beach to lay their eggs.
In the province of Caltanissetta is a town characterized by theChiaramonte-Bordonaro castle built on a cliff overlooking the sea. Was originally a tower mainly used for the breeding of falcons, from which comes the name. Later passed to the prince Branciforte, becaming the present-day castle of Falconara. In the ‘800, the castle became the property of german Count Wilding who, struck by the beauty of the place, built an entire wing, with a large living room and a terrace overlooking the sea.
Nowadays it is also possible to spend the night inside the rooms of some wings of the castle, where one can soak up the unique atmosphere of a noble time.