If you love cinema, you have probably dreamed about walking the steps of the movie L’avventura by Michelangelo Antonioni. The movie is an invitation to search for our inner selves. The director chose specific landscapes in order to reflect the character’s states of mind. Are you ready for a journey that touches the soul?
At first we will be surrounded by the sound of the sea: we are in Panarea, the smallest and oldest island in the Aeolian Islands. A sea tour of the island will take us to the islets of Basiluzzo, Bottaro, Dattilo, Lisca Bianca and Lisca Nera. These small islands together with Panarea, create an archipelago set on a single volcanic formation. And it is from the islet of Lisca Bianca that the adventure begins, with the mysterious disappearance of Anna. The sea around the islet offers two other unusual scenes: the so-called “soffioni”, underwater eruptive phenomena that generate a bubbling of the waters; and the only visitable shipwreck of all the Aeolian Islands, the one of the English ship Llannischen, dating back to the end of the 19th century.
Panarea also offers a lively nightlife in the heart of the town and, of course, beaches to relax on (Cala Junco, Cala degli Zimmari).
For the second part of this tour we go back to Milazzo. From the sea we will move inland, crossing the Nebrodi mountains, arriving in two of the movie locations: the Villages Schisina and Castelvecchio Siculo.
The Schisina Villages are a bizarre group of towns dating back to the 1950s, now they are completely abandoned. After a short stop, we can drive through them and reach Francavilla di Sicilia and Castiglione di Sicilia, two beautiful mountain villages famous for their excellent wines. Here we can taste the very best of wines from the Etna region that it has to offer through its many wineries, along with superb lunches and vineyard tours.
Moving towards the Ionian coast, we arrive at Casalvecchio Siculo, on the Peloritani. It is a medieval village, from which we can admire a wonderful landscape stretching from Calabria and the Strait of Messina to Mount Etna. In addition to the many religious buildings, there are several interesting fountains with spring water and the Ranciara Gorges, with small waterfalls and rock structures, similar to the famous Alcantara Gorges.
Crossing the mountains, the protagonists of L’avventura arrive in Noto: from smaller islands, narrow spaces and medieval alleyways, the view opens up to the white walls of great cathedrals and wide baroque streets. The adventure of Sandro and Claudia, the movie’s stars, seems to end with the revelation of their love story in the magnificent Taormina.
For your own comfort, we suggest reversing the film’s itinerary: from Casalvecchio head towards the Ionian Sea to reach Taormina; from here go south again to arrive at the pearl of late Baroque: Noto.