If being surrounded by Etna Park is a privilege, privilege is double also be embraced by the Nebrodi. The Municipality of Bronte enjoys a unique geographical position: lying on the western slopes of the Etna, dominates the valley of the Simeto. Its territory lies in part in the Etna Park and the Nebrodi Park also including the Alcantara River Park and the protected area of Ravine flows Simeto, a nature reserve dug from the river on the oldest lava flows of Etna. With its 25 thousand hectares, the Bronte is one of the largest municipalities in the province of Catania and has almost 20 thousand inhabitants.
The territory of Bronte extends up to the top of the central crater of Etna, exceeding three thousand and three hundred meters above sea level. The volcano, which for Bronte is' a Muntagna (the mountain), has greatly affected the lives of the inhabitants, forced to undergo several times the fury of the eruptions and live listening to the breathing of a live giant. At Muntagna Bronte are still tied, so that they are never fled to territories less wild. Bronte carefully preserves the Etna area and the area of the Park, which falls within the municipality for about 10 thousand hectares. Ie 18 percent of the protected area of Etna is in the territory of Bronte.
The tenacity of Bronte, however, was rewarded. While the Etna was because of serious difficulties, the other has left an area with unique characteristics. Lush forests, river landscapes, waterfalls, lakes and millenarian lava flows alternate with leveled agricultural. A biodiversity - botany and zoology - that depends largely on the fact that Bronte develops from North to South. The lowest point is the top few hundred meters above the sea level. The high point, however, is the central crater of Etna, 3350 meters above sea level. A drop of almost three thousand meters that brings the features of the plains, the hills and mountains.
Although much of the land is wild and strongly affected by lava flows, this did not prevent the development of crops that own land in the oldest lava have taken root. Orchards, olive groves, almond orchards and vineyards exploit the slopes to produce excellent oils, wines and juicy fruits. But growing more representative, in quantity and quality, is the pistachio. The frastucare, name Sicilian pistachio plants, growing in rocky skiing, inhospitable to many crops.
To introduce the pistachio in Sicily was the Arabs (in the seventh century) but only in the second half of the crop grew and became one of the most important sources of income for farmers in the area. This is why the pistachio is called "green gold." To Bronte it is today among the most popular in the world, so as to get the DOP - granted by the European Union - and become a Slow food. Throughout, the producers of pistachio are over three thousand. A lord it are small pistachio. 70 percent of the owners of land that has frastucare extend for a maximum of one hectare, 20 percent of salt just over six acres. The remaining ten percent, however, is represented by the major manufacturers, which have managed to internationalize their offer and become an engine of development.
The mountains and the city are connected by numerous roads and trails, among them an old paved road takes you through lava pistachio and skiing where the center of Bronte. Here the black lava stone remember at all times the presence of the volcano. A grid of narrow streets and small courtyards remind implant Arab city and lead in front of monumental palaces and elegant churches. These include the church of the Holy Trinity, that of Maria Santissima del Soccorso and the Shrine of the Annunciation. But the most important monument of Bronte is the Duchy of Nelson, or Castle of Nelson. What we admire today is what remains of the Abbey of Santa Maria di Maniace (XII century) destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt by the English Admiral Horatio Nelson, who made it his home. Today it has become a museum.
In 1882, Bronte also spoke of the most famous Sicilian writers: the Catanese Giovanni Verga. The novel "Freedom" is entirely dedicated to one of the most controversial events of the Italian Risorgimento. These are known facts of Bronte in 1860, took place between 2 and 5 August of the landing of the Thousand of Giuseppe Garibaldi in Sicily. The Unification of Italy brought with it the promise of a fair division of the land among the peasants, removing landowners. Which did not happen: the people rebelled against those who Verga calls "hats." The revolution Bronte was unsuccessful and was crushed in blood by General Nino Bixio. It is, without doubt, one of the most successful novels of the author realist. The depth of the narrative blends perfectly with the territory it tells. And he had, even then, the architectural structure we see today.