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San Pietro Clarenza | Etna Walking Rural

Municipality of San Pietro Clarenza

The origins of San Pietro Clarenza date back to the Middle Ages. After the great eruption of 1669, the town, at the time a  Rural house which belonged to the Prince of San Pietro, was sold to the Catanese nobleman Joseph Mario Clarenza who gave his name to the place, despite not building here any residence.

San Pietro Clarenza is a small town at the foot of Mount Etna, 470 meters above sea level. The history and the morphology of the place are closely linked to the volcano and its eruptions.


Le origini di San Pietro Clarenza risalgono all’eta’ medievale. Dopo la grande eruzione del 1669 il Casale, appartenuto al Principe di San Pietro, fu venduto al nobile catanese Giuseppe Mario Clarenza che diede il nome alla terra ma che non costruì nessuna dimora gentilizia. Il “cuore” del Casale diventò lo spiazzo intorno alla Chiesa di Santa Caterina. Il territorio fu diviso in quartieri. Ognuno portava il nome del Santo cui era dedicata la Chiesa. Nella parte alta della cittadina si trova la Chiesa dedicata alla Madonna delle Grazie, celebrata il 2 Luglio.


Devotion and folklore come together during processions to the Patron Saint, St. Catherine, on November 25, and to St. Joseph, March 19. Around the streets of the town is customary to give money or goods, like cockerels, rabbits, trays of rice crepes, which are then sold at auction. The Carnival draws thousands of residents and tourists in town, as well as events like the “Festivals of sausage”, “the outcast” and artisans market exhibitions. Other old-time traditional dishes are the “aceddi ccu the Ova”, “Cassateddi Easter”, “cucciddatu” and “Mustard”. Among the more attractive sport events , especially in the summer, you can partecipate to is the Etna Race Walking, an international exhibition of long distancerace, the regional Enduro and soccer tournaments which see citizens partecipating in teams of different districts.


The lava flow of 693 and 1669 caused multiple volcanic soils, caves, tunnels and some underground tunnels known by the people as “Accalori”, which acts like safety valves for the Etna (for example the “Palombe, the “Signore”, and the “Sganghera” caves) . The vegetation is typical of the lower slopes of the mountain: olives, grapes, juniper, oak, moss and lichen giving a particular color to the rocks. The predominant crops are citrus fruits, olives, grapes, prickly pear. The territory, mostly “sciaroso” (rocky), is organized on terraces supported by dry stone walls made in lava stone that, in dialect, are called “cuncurrenti”.