Zafferana Etnea is a town few distant
from the Ionian Coast, at 574 m a.s.l. It totals some 8,100 inhabitants.
It was founded around the 12th century in the vicinity of a Benedictine
Monastery, today no longer existing, and became an autonomous municipality
in 1826. Highly harmed by natural disasters, notably 1693’s
and 1818’s earthquakes, it managed to revive and regain’s
its old splendor.
The city develops around Piazza
Umberto I, where is a splendid public garden and the Mother Church,
dedicated to the Madonna della Provvidenza. This is a Baroque building
flanked by two bell-fries, with a white-stone façade containing
a statue of the Virgin. Inside are interesting works of art like
a painting of Saint Joseph and the Child,
In the city surroundings are sites
of both naturalistic and historical interest, such as the Bove Valley
– where are the old craters of Rocca degli Zappini and Serra
Giannicola Grande – and the Sentiero Natura di Monte Zoccolaro
with a beautiful chestnut wood.