The ancient medieval town of Naso is situated 10km inland from the north coast of Sicily. The town functioned as a summer residence for Palermo aristocratic families up until in end of the 19th century, when a landslide swept away more than 80 houses as it careered down the mountainside to the valley. Today there are about 1000 inhabitants, most of whom work in agriculture.
In Naso today, you can admire the town’s former greatness in its now somewhat dilapidated context. The town has 13 old churches, and the narrow streets make a charming labyrinth in the town centre. There are buildings and palaces here which date back to the time when the Arabs ruled over the island, and at times you find yourself at an open vantage point from where you have a clear view of Etna and the Aeolian Islands, which out on the horizon appear three-dimensional from this height.
Naso is ideal for a day or evening trip, when the traditional yellow lighting used at sunset creates a lovely atmosphere. There are also several shops where you can taste the town’s specialities. On the long and narrow main square, there’s a perfectly situated cafe bar where you can enjoy an ice cream, or ‘granita’ with an uninterrupted view of the Nebrodi mountains and Etna.
If you step off the main square and into the pedestrian street, there’s a little path on the right-hand side, where there is a fantastic confectioner’s. It looks a bit like a garage, but when you go in you find all sorts of biscuits, filled croissants, cannoli with ricotta cheese and a full selection of other Messina specialities. You can always taste the products before buying, and the prices are more than reasonable, so you don’t need to worry about breaking the budget when you fill up your fridge with small lovely desserts!
In the centre of town is the’Osteria delle Palme’, where they serve traditional food from Nebrodi: homemade sausages, provola cheese, smoked ricotta and small appetisers, plus homemade pasta, local meat dishes and also pizza. Guests can eat out in the garden, on the terrace under the palm trees, or inside in the ancient mansion house. The food is authentic and rustic, the prices reasonable and the view is simply stunning It’s a great place and well worth visiting to finish off a walk through the town’s interesting streets.
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During a chosen weekend in July, the town hosts a festival namely 'Naskers' whereby international artists are hired to entertain around the streets and the main square and during which a wonderful party atmosphere can be enjoyed.