Discovering Henna and its surroundings through the myth of Goddess Demeter – Road.Travel

Discovering Henna and its surroundings through the myth of Goddess Demeter

Road Trip Route. WHL UNESCO site, Myth, landscape and archaeological sites, Uncommon destinations, Traditional food.

WELCOME MY DEAR TRAVELERS! I'm Maria Carolina Bonfanti and it's a pleasure to make your acquaitance! If you chose this itinerary, probably you are very passionate about myths and ancient deities. You're in the right place, then! Trough this brief but intense journey, I want to bring you along and show you the "mythical" Sicilian hinterland, making reference to the Great *Demeter*. If you're wondering who she is, let me give you a brief introduction about the most worshipped deity of the area. *Demeter* is the Olympian goddess of the harvest and agriculture, presiding over grains and the fertility of the earth. *Demeter* 's daughter, *Persephone* was abducted to the underworld by *Hades*, who received permission from her father *Zeus* to take her as his bride. The "crime scene", seems to be the most famous lake in Henna, *Lake Pergusa*, where *Persephone* used to pick her beloved flowers. Incredible, right? *Demeter* searched for her tirelessly and the soil started to be unproductive, as consequence of her grief. Zeus had no choice! He sent his messenger *Hermes* to the underworld to bring *Persephone* back. As a compromise, *Hades* agreed to release her just for certain months of the year, which correspond to Spring and Summer. On the other hand, Winter and Autumn correspond to the months she has to spend in the Underworld. If you're wondering why, well...the answer is pretty easy! *Demeter* 's so happy when her daughter can be by her side on earth, so harvest is particularly florid during those months. But when *Persephone* has to go back to the Underworld, *Demeter* feels so miserable that nature reflects her state of mind. Now that you know what we're talking about, I hope you'll join me in this adventure! What do you have to lose? Ah! Make sure to bring some comfortable clothes and trainers with you. We'll have a lot to walk! So ladies, you'd better get rid of your high heels! Don't forget your bathing suit. You can rent a canoe in *Lake Pergusa*, so be ready to get wet! *Credits: This tour was made by Maria Carolina Bonfanti, as a multimedia tourist and storytelling project for the "Laboratory of formal technical writing (storytelling and gamification)", under the coordination of Prof. Elisa Bonacini, within the ITS 2-years COURSE "Higher Technician for the management of tourist accommodation facilities and cultural activities", 2019-2021, founded by the ITS Archimede Foundation at the CUMO Eastern Mediterranean University Consortium, in Noto (Syracuse).*

💥 Try for Free, History and Culture, Unobvious locations, Active Leisure. From: Catania

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Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: First look to Henna

First day together! How exciting! But don't worry, there's no need to rush today. Something very relaxing is waiting for you. After your arrival, you'll have a first look of Henna and some of the main attractions. Just to give you an idea of what's in store for you.

Catania Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) (Aeroporto di Catania Fontanarossa)

WELCOME TO SICILY! Hope you had a nice and safe flight. There's no time to lose! Pick your car and start driving. Henna is waiting for you!


Finally you're arrived to Henna, my dear travelers! Just a few words about the city you're going to visit these days. First of all, I want to let you know that Henna is not only a City, but also a Comune and a Province located at the center of Sicily and it's the highest Italian provincial capital. Thanks to her amazing surroundings and natural extents, It has earned the nickname *"Belvedere"* (panoramic viewpoint). Since Henna was the most ancient and famous Center in Sicily where the worship of the divinity was pretty popular, it's not a surprise that this is the place where everything begins. Just follow me! And I'll guide you through the mythical places of our amazing Sicily!

Museo del mito

Don't miss the opportunity to visit this incredible Museum! You'll get to know [*Demeter*]( and her story better! Thanks to the modern technologies, you'll dive in the myth that made The Goddess and her daughter Persephone so famous.

Duomo di Enna

After visiting the Museum, why don't you take some time to visit the historical Center of the City? The "[Duomo](" is a good place to start! It's the Mother Church of the city after all! The interior decorations will take your breath away!

Fontana del Ratto di Proserpina

Here's the fountain that better recalls the mythical episode of *Persephone* 's abduction. No panic ! Don't get confused ! *Proserpina* is just the Roman name for *Persephone*, which is the original Greek name. Anyway, the fountain represents the tragical moment when the goddess is kidnapped by *Hades*, God of the Underworld. He was so madly in love with the girl that He wanted to marry her at all costs. Poor thing! This piece of art is located in Piazza Marconi, also called *"Belvedere"* for the amazing landscape you can admire from here.

Piazza Belvedere Marconi

Just relax and enjoy the view! Here you can stay and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings. You won't regret it, I promise!

Trattoria La Rustica

After a long trip and a long day, it's important to get your energy back! So come to this typical *Trattoria* and enjoy the local food. It's one of the most famous in town. Only the best for you, my friends!

Day 2: Henna and the places of the Myth

Our adventure begins NOW! Get ready for sightseeing! It's time to explore and discover what makes Henna so famous. Keep your eyes opened!

Rocca di Cerere

This magnificent [fortress]( is located in the central area of Sicily, on the Erei Mountains and it's one of the main symbols of Henna. The name *"Cerere"* is due to the consacration of the territory to the Ktonic deities, *Demeter* and *Persephone*. In fact, *Cerere* is one of the many names used to call the divinity, in this case that one the Romans attributed to her.

Castello di Lombardia

Who doesn't love Castles, right? [Castello Lombardia]( is an incredible building built in 1076 and it's the largest and the most ancient one in whole Italy. At the bottom of the edifice there was the temple dedicated to *Demeter*, once erected by Sicans. If endless staircases don't scare you, don't miss visiting Torre Pisana, the tower of the Castle. It takes 300 steps to get there, but it's worth the effort.

Torre di Federico II

Speaking of Castles and towers, I want to introduce you another important symbol of Henna. I'm talking about Torre [Federico II]( He was the King who wanted its construction in 1200. This Medieval tower was once connected to Castello Lombardia by an underground passage. The two main floors can be reached via a spiral staircase. Here you can feast your eyes on their stately rooms. There's also a third floor, where I'm certain you'll be amazed by the wonderful view!

Paccamora biobar

It's time to take some rest now! Enjoy the delicious and fresh products offered by *Paccamora*. They'll give you the right energy to keep exploring.

Lago Pergusa

I couldn't help mentioning this [Lake](! Did you know this is the only natural lake of whole Italy? And I'll tell you more... Did you know this is the exact place where *Persephone*, *Demeter* ' s daughter, was kidnapped by *Hades* and dragged to the underworld? Well, now you know. Surprises are not over! Here you can rent a conoe and spend a quiet hour in the middle of the lake, or you can have a nice walk surrounded by nature. You deserve a relaxing afternoon after this intense day around!

Ristorante Pizzeria Ariston

If you want to end your day properly, you absolutely have to book a table here! You'll find all sorts of dishes. No time for diet!

Day 3: Walk in Aidone and Trek in Morgantina

*"Another day, another race!"* That's what we say. FIRST STOP: Aidone! Feel free to visit the most famous museum in town, and... why not, you could also wander around the city centre. NEXT STOP: Morgantina! Here you'll have the opportunity to walk immersed in her beautiful scenery.


A new day begins, and also a new adventure! Welcome to [Aidone](, a pretty city in Province of Henna and close to our next destination, Morgantina.

Museo Archeologico Regionale Di Aidone

Here you are in the most renowned Museum of Aidone! Here you'll get some useful information about Morgantina thanks to the Archeological finds discovered in the site, including the Statue of Goddess *Demeter*. Literally, breathtaking!

Chiesa di S.Maria La Cava

Feel free to walk around Aidone and visit the main attractions of the city. This church for example, it's one of the prettiest religious buildings in my opinion. So, take your time! Take the chance to relax before the afternoon trek.

Antichi Sapori Aidonesi

It's time for you to taste good regional dishes! I absolutely suggest you to eat here. It's worth it. There's plenty of choice. Enjoy the experience!

Sito Archeologico di Morgantina

Finally you're just arrived in [Morgantina](! This is a very important destination for our journey, because this is the place where the cult of Goddess *Demeter* was particularly widespread. It's time for a nice walk! Get ready!

Castello di Gresti o Pietratagliata

After visiting the Archeological site of Morgantina, if you like to wonder around don't miss the *Castle of Pietratagliata* ("Cut Stone"), so called because the stone seems to cut the valley in half. Because of the bad conditions, it's not easy to visit it, but the place is so charming. I suggest you to go and see for yourself!

Ristorante Le Tre Rose

This is the last night together, so I wanted to propose you this high quality restaurant. The inside is simple but elegant at the same time, and the food will delight your tastebuds! What's better?

Day 4: Last day in Piazza Armerina and... a little surprise!

That's right my dear travelers! This is our last day together! But don't be downhearted! For today's tour, I chose something really special to cheer you up. I couldn't let you go without having a tour of the famous Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina. Before we say goodbye, don't miss visiting the little known Borgo Santa Rita. Just consider it as a bonus I held in store for you.

Piazza Armerina

Your holiday is not over yet! Hope you have some more energy to stop in [Piazza Armerina]( and see its beauties. Next stop... VILLA DEL CASALE!!!

Villa Romana del Casale

Here some information about the [Villa]( Read carefully, if you want to be properly prepared. I'll test you! Just kidding!

Borgo Santa Rita

Here's our last stop. Do not worry about the street you need to drive to reach this incredible little village! This little town is a real gem in province of Caltanissetta. Few people live here and they lead a very simple life dedicated to agricolture. If you love carbohydrates, this is the place for you! In fact, S. Rita is famous for its bread made with ancient grains. You'll taste the difference!

Forno S.Rita

Choose this bakery to taste the most incredible bread made with flour of ancient grains. I assure you, it'll rock your world! I give you my word as a bread lover. If you want to take something with you as souvenir, you could opt for pasta, legumes and biscuits made with genuine ingredients. The choice is up to you!