Vue des Cotes de la Calabre
In the 18th century the Sicilian economy was based on agriculture and grape vines thrived on the fertile soils. The small square pyramids of soil seen in this illustration were used to irrigate the vines and in this way the land could be keep moist at all times.
Hoüel uses a very flowery vocabulary to describe the geological formation of the Strait of Messina. His accuracy and knowledge of geographical features can still be tested today by taking a look at a Tyrrhenian coast map or simply by approaching the Lipari Islands and both sides of the Strait of Messina.
The image shows Pentane (A), one of the two lakes, and Messina lighthouse (B). C is the piece of land of the northern part of the Strait of Messina headed by Pelore Cape. On Scylla Hill (D) we can see a castle, while the town of Scylla is extended from the slope of the mountain to the shore of the gulf. The sea on the left is the Tyrrhenian Sea; on the right, the Ionic Sea.
On the left hand side of these mountains we can identify the part of Calabria most affected by the earthquake of 5th February 1783. On the right is Scylla, also victim of the same earthquake. E denotes houses of another village next to Messina lighthouse.