The Salt Pans of Paternò are a natural geological area located within the territory of Paternò in the province of Catania. In 2016 they were recognized as a geosite by the Sicilian Regional Territorial and Environment Departement and they were included in the Salt Pans system of Mount Etna. In the paternese area there are three sites: one is called “The Salt Pans of Capuchins” or of the Stadium and the other “The Salt Pans of the River”. The third one is ,” The Salt Pans of San Biagio “, Belpasso. The first one is located on the extreme north- west out of the city and is called “The Salt Pans of Capuchins “ as it stands in an area where the church of the Capuchins Friars was present from 1556-1596. The site was abandoned to unhealthy air and built in its current location. This place was also called ” The Salt Pans of the Stadium ” as they are located near the municipal stadium or “Salt Pans of San Marco” as it touches the north- eastern side of the hill of San Marco . It has a clayey soil that does not allow the development of vegetation. The two Salt Pans in the Paternò area have the greatest extension and are the most active as they present numerous phenomena of water and mud emissions with a high salt pan content. The Salt Pans of the River are situated in the left bank of the Simeto river, three kilometers west of the town of Paternò. The Salt Pans of San Biagio , Belpasso, are located on the south-east of the little volcano of Paternò . The emission of gas gives life to mud volcanoes. Their formation seems to be closely linked to the activities of Etna. The Romans used it as a spa, while the Arabs used the mud for various purposes. In the past the muddy waters of The Salt Pans of Paternò were used for therapeutic purposes on people and animals for the treatment of some rheumatic pathologies.
THE SALT PANS OF PATERNO’.
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