Argimusco, the Sicilian Stonehenge


Between Montalbano Elicona, Novara di Sicilia and Tripi, in the province of Messina, on the northern borders of the Bosco di Malabotta, a group of large quartz sandstone rocks, with curious and evocative shapes, rises over a thousand metres above sea level. On one side the Tyrrhenian Sea, on the other the valley of the Alcantara river. Here the only noises are the rustling of the wind on the ferns and the chirping of the birds.

We start our easy walk through the monumental stones, discovering the shapes of the Virgin in prayer, the monk, the male face or the eagle.

Everything seems perfectly evoke a "sacred place", so much so that it is compared to the famous British Stonehenge.

Walking among these giants, we wonder what the megaliths of Argimusco really were: a site for sacred rites, a place for astronomical observations for the people of antiquity, or perhaps just beautiful and striking sandstone rocks eroded over the centuries by the wind of the plateau. Whatever it is, it is a fact that these sandstone silhouettes have exerted a magnetic fascination for thousands of years.

Even today, eleven constellations are reflected in the megaliths of the site after sunset on warm summer evenings.

If the legends don’t interest us, we can simply take a walk among the strangely shaped rocks. It’s also a great place for a picnic!

If you’ve taken a liking to wandering through the maze of history, head for the municipality of Tripi in search of the ancient city of Abakainon. In Novara di Sicilia, trekking enthusiasts will be delighted to reach Rocca Salvatesta (1340 m a.s.l.), the protagonist of a fascinating legend, and enjoy the breathtaking panorama that sweeps from the Aeolian Islands to theMount Etna volcano, from the Nebrodi Mountains in the west to the Peloritani in the east. We complete our excursion with the ancient medieval village of Montalbano Elicona, considered one of the most beautiful in Italy; it is a centre rich in personality, with its Castle that was the residential home of Frederick II of Aragon.

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