Discovering the magic Oxena Falls set between basalt rock walls
A new experience awaits us isolane. Alarm clocks at dawn and we are full of adrenaline, ready for the day to be lived in the midst of nature, in the company of new friends and pristine landscapes to discover: today we take you with us, between water and fire, to discover the Oxena river.
Meeting in Militello Val di Catania, municipality of the province of Catania, located at the end of the Iblei Mountains. The city is full of museums, churches, former monasteries, palaces, and fountains, and was therefore declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The meeting point is right in front of one of its important monuments, inside the walls of the 14th century Barresi-Branciforte Castle, the Ninfa Zizza fountain built in 1607 to celebrate the construction of the first Militello aqueduct. Here, our guide Peppe awaits us, and after some useful information on the day’s program, leads us to a country path, where details related to the past can be seen here and there.
We begin to breathe the pure air, enjoy the greenery that surrounds us, and the warm sun of the first Sicilian summer days. Along the way Peppe points out ancient finds, shells set in the ground dating back to prehistoric times, explaining that this place was once the cradle of a limpid and crystalline sea almost Hawaiian. Then we suddenly turn our back and in front of us is a spectacle that few know: we find ourselves in front of not only our beloved “Etna”, visible also from here in all its splendor, but also three other extinct volcanoes, Monte Lauro, Monte Santa Venere, and Poggio Santa Croce.
At lunchtime, a pleasant stop awaits us at Rosetta’s house, a militellese doc, who prepared for us a typical Sicilian lunch, mouth-watering: bread, pizza, parmesan omelette, peppers, onions, and roasted eggplants, a board of cheeses and salami, olives, tomato salad, all accompanied by good local wine. As a good Sicilian, she couldn’t help but end the meal with ice cream and coffee. Satisfied and filled to the brim with food and the lovely welcome we received, we continue our excursion!
Walking along we arrive on a promontory where rich vegetation extends before us, interrupted by a small stream and a waterfall that enchants. We look forward to being able to dip our feet in the water to cool off a bit. We begin our descent by making our way through carob trees, oaks, olive trees, prickly pears, tamarisks, oleanders, and rose hips, heading towards the stream from which we will begin our excursion towards the waterfall, by river trekking, what a great feeling!
But the surprises don’t end! We stop for a few minutes to relax and meditate and have the opportunity to connect with the surrounding nature. We all remain silent, close our eyes, and breathe deeply to hear the roar of the water, the chirping of the birds, and the rustling of the plants. A moment of great relaxation. An inner encounter with ourselves.
Resuming the journey, we continue to enjoy enchanted landscapes within the river bed, until we get to admire one of the wonders of nature, the Oxena falls, fed permanently by the Ossena river and set among basalt stone rocks. Stopping to admire these natural waterfalls and the surrounding landscape takes us almost into another dimension: it is pure magic, it is the force of nature, of water that always flows with the same strong intensity, creating an enchanting scenery! Let’s stop for a few hours. We plunge into the water, relax while sitting and listening to the roar of the water, chat, take photos, videos, to capture this masterpiece of nature.
On our way back, our ring route takes us in front of the old mill of the Paliano, now in disuse, immersed in luxuriant vegetation. The day was so pleasant that we did not want it to end, but it is almost time and therefore we continue on our way to enjoy a little more of the wonders of this place. At a certain point, a somewhat bizarre encounter takes place: a herd of cows and calves are camped serenely and allow themselves to be photographed, it seemed that they were waiting for us.
The walk was pleasant but, certainly, a stop at Rosetta’s house to refresh yourself before returning cannot be refused! How beautiful is Sicilian hospitality!!! And away with coffee, ice cream and, why not, a few pieces of pizza and omelette. At this point, the day is really over and after some chat with our new friends and due greetings, we make our way home, satisfied with this gift of nature and this new experience in our beloved Sicily!
We are ready for a new experience …. and you?