unsolved mysteries and secrets of a “sacred” oasis

unsolved mysteries and secrets of a

Over the years, it has been the subject of numerous studies by archaeologists. To arouse particular curiosity are the two cavities carved into the stone

Considered one of the most suggestive attractions on the Etna side, the Valley of the Muses It is a naturalistic oasis behind which secrets and mysteries are hidden. Located about three kilometers from the town of Adrano, the area is criss-crossed by Simeto. Here, moreover, the river forms a small cove scrolling slowly through trebles based on columns.

In the center of this small “cove”, for the uninitiated, rises a powerful block of sandstone with a rounded shape. Although at first glance it may seem simple rocky boulderin reality it is much more than that.

It is no coincidence that over the years it has been the subject of numerous studies and interpretations by archaeologists. To arouse particular curiosity, indeed, these are the two dug cavities in stone. In addition to testifying to a great compositional know-how, they imply an eminently sacred function of the researchers.


In simple terms, they are two quadrangular tanks dug on two levels and cleverly connected by a circular hole. The on-site inspections also proved the presence of another circular hole in connection with the second tank which flows directly in the course of the river. One of the many questions that scholars ask themselves is to trace the workers of the aforementioned “structures”.

At the same time, another difficult solving unknown is to understand the exact and original intended use. According to historical sources, they were made by the inhabitants of the ancient Sicilian city of Adranon to perform propitiatory rites in honor of the local deities.

Some believe that most of the sacrificial offerings were dedicated to the god Adranon, in whose memory the devotees had also built a temple near the urban settlement. Others, conversely, hypothesize that the Templar building was built to honor so-called Palici Which, giving credence to mythological tradition, were Sicilian furrows generated by the union between Zeus and the nymph Talia.

In any case, the arrangement of the two basins overhanging the river would allude to the custom of sacrificing animals with the intention of making their blood flow towards the waters below. The theory also seems to be confirmed by the holes that can still be seen in the two tanks.

In all likelihood, these rituals were officiated by the priests to promote the fertility and lushness of the whole valley. This comes from the fact that, in antiquity, the Simeto he was revered as a true river deity. Ovid himself, in book XIII of the “Metamorphoses”, reports that the Simeto river was heroized and particularly venerated. However, what really puzzles us is why the nickname “Valley of the Muses” was given to the naturalistic landscape in question.

In this regard, although it cannot be said with certainty, the reason for such name could come from the presence of water sources that still flow today in the small valley. As a result, various scholars of the region have advanced the hypothesis that the area was used for sacred baths and initiation paths.

In any case, regardless of any debate, the Valle delle Muse represents one of the most charismatic places in Sicily not only for the hieratic charm it manifests but, above all, for the enchanting scenic beauty of which it is indisputably the expression. .