The Madonies is a mountainous whole of the sicilian Apennines in the north of Sicily.
It is from these mounts which supply Palermo and its agglomeration in water thanks to its numerous sources. Palermo and the Palermitan Mounts situated westwards from this mountain, eastward are the Nebrodes mounts and the Peloritans one precedes Messina.
The highest mount is the Pizzo Carbonara with its 1.979 m high, the second higher mount in Sicily after the Etna.
In the Madonies, the natural, historical and artistic heritages are important. These austere mountains which overhang the sicilian coast carry testimonys from thousand years, even with a prehistoric occupation. The territory is marked by many religious buildings, monasteries, hermitages and rupestral churches, often isolated on the mounts tops.
Along the rivers, are many mills and farms, often built in the roman antiquity, fall into the lapse of memory.
Oldest rocks of Sicily can be found there, with many fossils in the limestones zones. In the madonies which occupy hardly the 2% of the surface of the island is more than half of the sicilian flora, with many endemic species.
One can divide this mountainous mass in three part : the coastal strip of the septentrional slope, protected from the African winds where one finds the wood thickest, the olive-trees secular, the chestnuts, oaks…; the wooded chain rich of many endemic species; the sunny southern part, drier and cultivated.
All the mammals present in Sicily are there : deer, foxes, etc, 70% of the birds and 60% of the invertebrates of the island.
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