Friday, February 27, 2009

The Second Circumnavigation of Mt. Etna

Paul and I embarked on what would turn out be my second "Circumnavigation of Mt. Etna".  Last year my bride Laurie and I successfully completed the Circumnavigation by going in a counterclockwise fashion.

On Friday we decided to attempt the very tricky clockwise Circumnavigation.  Many lives have been lost over the years by people that have tried this approach to Mt. Etna.  Being two guys who only 24 hours ago ate a Milza sandwich, we felt we were both man enough to give this somewhat deadly trek a go. 

Mt. Etna's Southern View Near Paterno

The town, not Joe

The Doors to the Chapel at the
Admiral Horatio Nelson Estate

Bourbon King Ferdinand gave Admiral Nelson of the British Navy this huge feudal estate in 1799 located outside of the town of Bronte on the east side of Mt. Etna as a magnanimous gift for his blockade of Naples that eventually forced Napoleon Bonaparte's French troops to surrender thus returning Naples to King Ferdinand's control.

During Giuseppe Garibaldi's rule over Sicily in the 1850's, many peasants died over this estate in the belief that land reform would include Nelson's land.  To keep peace with an English government that was friendly to Garibaldi's cause, Nelson's land was ruled exempt from Garibaldi's promised land reform policy.  Riots ensued and eventually five of these peasant rioters were tried and executed by Garibaldi's government.

"Admiral, watch out for that first step in the green doorway on the left!" 

Dormant Growth

The Nelson Estate's Courtyard Well

New and Old Roofs Meet

A VERY Regal Proclamation from King George III of England for Admiral Nelson

A Mossy Celtic Cross in the Nelson Courtyard

A View Towards the Entrance to the Courtyard

Farther North, the town of Maletto in the distance

Outside of Randazzo facing the North slope of Mt. Etna

We drove up into the Nebrodi Mountains near Messina as we tried to find the town of Tortorici.  Instead we found snow!

The reason for our side trip to find Tortorici is that one of our friend's family roots are in this village.  Carmen Di Paolo, a long time football coach in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, is that friend and we are sad to report that we did not get there on this journey as we had to hurry back to Catania for our 6:00 p.m. staff meeting in the Elephant's War Room.

Though thwarted in our effort Friday, another full scale assault on Tortorici is in the planning stages for this Sunday.

The remote but beautiful
Nebrodi Mountains

Mt. Etna's Ominous North Face

Our drive to Catania was momentarily halted by, of all things, a Sheep Crossing!

The Dashing Shepherd of the Flock

He was thankful that we stopped to let his flock cross peacefully.

Catania's "La Paglia" Fish Ristorante

After our staff meeting it was time to eat and celebrate the success of the day's expedition!  We invited Denver Wade, our offensive line coach to join us.

This was another very solid meal at a restaurant suggested to us by Paul's "Lonely Planet Italy" guidebook.  If you are traveling to Italy in the near future, you should definitely check this tome out for it's list of eating establishments.

By the way, Paul did accidentally kick over this sign just before I took this picture!!!

Denver and Paul checking out some of our dinner choices.

Afterwards at the "Etoile d'Or" pasticceria, Denver enjoys his first Ricotta Cannolo in Sicily

One's first Sicilian cannolo is always a moment of great shared joy for me!


Laurie said...



ddipaolo1 said...

the name and address of carmen and my relatives in tortorici is: maria mazzurco, via colla, tortorici, prov. messina, sicily, 98078
it is on a mountain type road above the town of tortorici. the building/house was built by my great grandfather sebastian dipaola. he had 2 children: carmelo (mine and carmen's grandfather) and angela. angela married sebastian mazzurco whose daughter is maria mazzurco. they stayed in sicily. carmelo dipaola and letterina bellito came to america. the other remaining relatives in tortorici are bellitos.

ddipaolo1 said...

correction on spelling of bellito. it is bellitto.

George said...


Are you a brother or sister of Carmen's, I'm not sure since you did not write a first name.

This information will come in handy for assault #2 on Tortorici on Sunday. We will NOT fail you this time.


DPLassen said...

The Sicilians named a town after Joe Paterno?
So what are you going to get named after you?

George said...

My guess would be the new offices of the Catania SOstare, their parking police.