Once upon a time there was a lake in Catania . It seems a fable but it is the truth. The volcano Etna has changed the real aspect of Catania many times. It has destroyed many monuments of ancient times, theatres, houses, Greek and Roman buildings , rivers and even a lake! Perhaps not everyone knows it, Catania extended around a lake.
The name of the lake was Nìcito.The name derived from the Greek anìketos (“unconquered”), in turn deriving from nike (“victory”).“Lake Nicito” formed as a result of an ancient eruption of Etna. The eruption of 406 BC reached the Northern outskirts of the city of Catania and cut the course of the Amenano river obstructing it. The lake that formed had a circumference of about 6 kilometers and a depth of over 15 meters. It began near the current square ”Saint Mary of Jesus”( Santa Maria di Gesù). The lake was filled by the various streams of water that flowed from various parts. It was surrounded by trees and countryside, it was a pleasant place and many luxury houses were built around it. The countryside around was fascinating. The lake existed until 1669. The lake was so important that even naval regattas were organized there.
Unfortunately, Lake Nicito disappeared, buried by a lava flow, in 1669 . Volcano Etna is a bizarre volcano it is like a crazy engineer of the territory. It builts and destroys everything on its way, lava flows and covers everything changing the land.
Today the only existing evidence of the lake is the name given to the homonymous street that separates the neighborhood. It is certain that when you go there you can imagine to hear the noise of the water of the disappeared lake, only by listening to the wind blowing over the branches of the big trees situated in the nice square of Saint Mary of Jesus and full of birds twittering intensely over the trees especially in the season of Spring.