Il Castagno dei Cento Cavalli, Sant'Alfio

4.0
#101 of 609 in Things to do in Province of Catania
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Hundred-Horse Chestnut (Italian: Castagno dei Cento Cavalli; Sicilian: Castagnu dî Centu Cavaddi) is the largest and oldest known chestnut tree in the world. Located on Linguaglossa road in Sant'Alfio, on the eastern slope of Mount Etna in Sicily — only 8 km (5.0 mi) from the volcano's crater — it is generally believed to be 2,000 to 4,000 years old (4,000 according to botanist Bruno Peyronel from Turin). It is a sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa, family Fagaceae). Guinness World Records has listed it for the record of "Greatest Tree Girth Ever", noting that it had a circumference of 57.9 m (190 ft) when it was measured in 1780. Above ground, the tree has since split into multiple large trunks, but below ground, these trunks still share the same roots.

The tree's name originated from a legend in which a queen of Aragon and her company of 100 knights, during a trip to Mount Etna, were caught in a severe thunderstorm. The entire company is said to have taken shelter under the tree.
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  • We were in the region and we heard about this old tree, so we decided we just had to go and have a look The pathway leading to the tree is serene and there are many small chestnut trees on the path.....  more »
  • The tree is large. And Old. No doubt. Nice park area and a good place to stretch your legs - but you need not make a special trip to see this.  more »

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