Gole Alcantara are in the valley of the same name in Eastern Sicily (between Messina and Catania). Some have reported seeing here “the local Loch Ness Monster […]. Around here, we call it ‘u Sugghiu’, perhaps because its shape resembles the sturdy wooden cylinder (called ‘subbio’, in Italian) used in old looms, around which the threads of the warp are wrapped […]. Some say that its powerful, shrill and piercing call – halfway between a donkey’s bray and a pig’s grunt – is its scream of ancestral nostalgia for the depths of the sea, where his species used to live in the beginning of time, for which he now searches in rivers, lakes, and swamps…” (M. Fiume, “Sicilia esoterica”, Newton Compton, Rome 2013).
The natural canyon of Gole Alcantara is made of angular gorges up to fifty meters tall, and wide two to five meters, likely the result of ancient earthquakes. With the river of the same name running through them, they are part of the Gole Alcantara Botanical and Geological Park, near Taormina.
Here is their description by great novelist Federico De Roberto: “Extremely narrow, extremely deep, these winding gorges formed by prismatic basalts look like bundles of huge, stone canes, violently twisted and broken. Between narrow and dark walls, where quiet water flows and takes on livid hues, you will not need much imagination to believe you have been transported to some scene in Dante’s ‘Inferno’” (F. De Roberto, “Randazzo e la valle dell’Alcantara”, Istituto italiano d’Arti grafiche, Bergamo 1909).
From Loch Ness to “The Divine Comedy”: an abyss of fantastic, incredible wonders of nature.