Regional Parc of Alcantara.
Tipology On foot
Length 791 mt
Altitude 198 mt s.l.m.
Difference 120 mt
Riferimenti cartografici Page I.G.M. n. 262 quadrant II°, positioning N.O. FIUMEFREDDO DI SICILIA - CTR section. 613150 “CALATABIANO”
Services Equipped areas for visitor stops, informative poster signs for information and directions along the way.
The Calatabiano castle, in the province of Catania, positioned at the Northern borderline of the Etnean province, is built on a 220m high hill and dominates the outlet of Alcantara. The river marks here the boundary between Catania and Messina. At the feet to the castle rises the village that was established after the disastrous earthquake of Val di Noto in 1693, when the old territory was abandoned.
The first document attesting the existence of the castle consists ofa map of Sicily, where the traveler and geographer Abu Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Idris (1099-1164), marked the fortified systems of the island. The map which is found in the “Book of Rugger”, at whose court the geographer worked, represents the island upside down, according to the Arabic representation system. Etna appears on the left side of the map, skimed by the Simeto and Alcantara rivers. In fact, along the Alkantar (bridge) river banks, appears the representation of two speculiar fortresses: Tauromenion and Kalaat-al Bian, reconstructed on existing Roman and Greek foundations.
The name that the Arabsused for the style during the Bizantine period, that after the conquest they called: Kalaat-al-Bian (the stone of Biano) remains unknown. Biano is not a word of Arabic origin.