Parco delle Madonie
The Parco delle Madonie, situated south of Cefalù, is a big natural reserve that incorporates 15 towns and villages including Castelbuono, Polizzi Generosa, Gangi, Castellana Sicula, Petralie, Isnello. Many of these have mediaeval origins thanks to the noble land-owning that owned huge estates and built castles in the area.
Some have defined the Madonie’s high mountains “a botanical garden at the centre of the Mediterranean” or again “a crossroads between three continents”. Here, indeed, survive a several endemic and rare plant species that come from geographical regions with very different climates.
The varied mountain complex of the Madonie is so varied in term of geological age, structure, extension, heights, orography, hydrography, climate, and shows a remarkable variety of landscape, going from the snows of Pizzo Carbonara, the second peak in Sicily, to the splendid coasts of Cefalù.
The visitor must not fail to get the splendid scenarios of Quacella amphitheatre, a very beautiful place where and extraordinary quantity of plants is concentred; the Vallone Madonna degli Angeli, where there are the last examplars in the world of the Nebrodi fir; Piano Battaglia, dominated by Monte Mufara, in which in winter it is possible to ski; Pizzo Carbonara a mountain of almost two thousand metres; Piano Cervi, with its delightful little lake among beech trees; and the stately centuries-old holly wood at Piano Pomo.
Madonie’s territory is absolutely unforgettable.