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MONTE INICI

 
Mount Inici

It is the highest summit in the area, singled out as a SCI (Site of community importance), named “Complesso Monti di Castellammare del Golfo” in which there are two zones: one higher zone characterized by the reliefs of Mount Inici (1064m) and Pizzo delle Niviere (1043m) and another lower area which overlooks Castellammare, with the reliefs of Cozzo Monaco (773m), Pizzo Brando (638m) and Pizzo Stagnone (802m). the area is Regional-State property, its control and protection is entrusted to the Forestry Detachment of Castellammare del Golfo. The mountainous complex is made up of calcareous masses, and covered mostly by a conifer wood, predominantly the Aleppo Pine, Cypress and domestic Pine, while on the summit a remaining strip of historic oak (Quercus ilex) wood survives. The undergrowth is mostly made up of  blackberry bushes, butcher’s broom, ivy, wormwood, blackthorn, hawthorn, bramble rose and broom. The rock plants are also very interesting, including the Scabious cretica and the Ceterach officinarum (stonebreaker), which grows in the cracks in the rocks. Where rainwater collects the discoglossid, an amphibian very similar to a small frog, is to be found. A snail Marmorana scabriuscola which has adapted to narrow fissures lives between the rocks. Among the birds to be found, is the kestrel which hunts insects and small rodents.
Along the slopes of the mountain there are many caves which were discovered at the beginning of the nineteen nineties after an exploration campaign brought to light an important pot hole system, made up of the Abisso dei cocc i- Pottery abyss, of the Grotta dell’eremita- hermit’s cave and of about twenty other small caves. The two main underground caves reach the depth of 420 and 310 metres respectively from the entrance and overall cover over six kilometres of sub-horizontal galleries and shafts. 
Another important characteristic of Mount Inici is the red nodular limestone which forms suggestive sub-vertical and layered walls, above all on the eastern side.