The Calanna Rock
«'A Rocca Calanna»
Covering the panoramic road that from Bronte takes to
Randazzo (S.S. 284), in Brancatello quarter at about 1043 of height, in a
luxuriant valley which frames the impressive mass of Etna,
one finds the "Canalaci Roccazzo",
a sandstone mass, better known as "Rocca Calanna".
After a little slope, at about three kilometers from Bronte midway between
Bronte and Maletto, suddenly the horizon widens out and a big
valley, full of greenery, secular woods interrupted by ancient and
recent lava flows, of volcanic cones extends itself up to the feet
of Etna which here raises in all of its majesty.
the Canalaci Roccazzo, or the panoramic road in Difesa
district, it is
possible to enjoy the most spectacular sight of Etna, the
highest active volcano of Europe and one of the biggest
of the world.
The Etna ("a muntagna", like it is called locally) rises, majestic and
terrible, above a basement of sedimentary rocks
height of about 3.350 meters, and has a diameter
of about 44 kilometers.
According to what Giuseppe Cimbali wrote, from Bronte "it
shows itself in all the agreement, in all the purity, in all the harmony of
its perfect and solemn lines".
In harmony with the beginnings of the institutive decree of the Etna Park, an old project foresees in the zone of
Difesa district, the building
of an important tourist pole, comprising receptive and sporting structures (hotels,
campsites, fields equipped for the practice of several sports,
riding tracks) and
an articulated system of equipped green.
The zone of the Difesa
The zone of the
is easily reachable, besides the car and the bicycle,
also with the Railway Circumetnea which makes a stop right in Difesa district
(soon after the station
Besides the rural beauty, the archaeological interest of the rock
is due to the presence of two excavations dug n the sandstone as artificial
little grottos (the "gruttitti") which were used to
bury the deceased together to a rich outfit.
These funeral little cells, present a typology totally different
from the several grotto tombs known in the bronze and iron age,
because they present themselves like some burial niches with opening
and rectangular plant while the other existing types in that period
have a small corridor of access and a sub circular cell with vault.
The strange typology which is found in several sandstone emersions, included between the high Simeto valley and the Alcantara
valley, is at present, object of study and is assumed, at the moment without decisive
tests, that can actually go
back at the Byzantine epoch.
As to this subject here is what Benedetto Radice writes
in his “Memorie storiche di Bronte”:
«In Bronte’s territory, to testify of their life,
or rather of their death there are, scattered here and there, some
funeral cells, built like ovens, as can be found in many other
mountains of the island, of which, to the critic eye of some future
archaeologist willing to explore this western part, I wish to indicate
two in the “Primaria” superior, below the “Colla” towards south, one
the “Contura” superior.
Close to the cell there is a vat and a winepress ; two at “Fontanamurata”,
on the fields owned by Vincenzo De Luca and Giuseppe Rizzo, two at
Margiogrande, called “Gruttitti”, in the property owned by Vincenzo
Rizzo, others at Placa Baiana and Macchiafava.
No funeral furnishings
were found. Ignorance and human greed destroyed or made disappear