The island, thanks to its strategic position in the Mediterranean, has always been land of conquests. Greeks, Romans, Byzantine, Arabs and Normans are just an example of the ancient civilizations that, by adding their unmistakable layers of traditions, architecture, culture made this island so special.
SEPT 11 2021
OCT 16 2021
PRICE FROM €1499,00 // GUIDED TOUR
PRICE FROM €799,00 // SELF-GUIDED TOUR
SYRACUSE, SICILY, ITALY
SYRACUSE, SICILY, ITALY
4 nights at 4-star; 2 nights at 3-star; 1 night at Agriturismo. 4 dinners; all breakfasts.
Individual arrival transfer from Catania airport to Syracuse € 60 p.p. (min 2 pax); individual departure transfer from Syracuse to Catania airport € 60 p.p. (min 2 pax); supplement for single accommodation € 250 p.p.; bike rental.
A hilly stage of medium difficulty that begins with a series of panoramic switchbacks that take us cross a number of tiny villages hidden in the heart of Sicily, such as Monterosso Almo and Giarratana, but also across some of the most famous Baroque towns as Modica and Scicli.
Modica, in particular, is an UNESCO World Heritage site since 2002, due to its well preserved historical downtown. But it's also the perfect place to feed both body and soul with the local premium chocolate, produced, following the Aztec original recipe, using manual grinding (rather than conching), which gives the chocolate a peculiar grainy texture and aromatic flavor.
From this point, it takes only 10 km to another Baroque jewel built on a rock: Scicli, our destination. This lovely town is known for its several churches and squares and the elegant architecture.
But Scicli and its beauty are also very popular in Italy as they are the location of the police station (Commissariato) of Il Commissario Montalbano a popular television series broadcasted in many different Countries and based on the detective novels of Andrea Camilleri.
Overnight and dinner in Scicli at a four-star hotel.
Scicli is so much an iconic Baroque town that we find a shame not to take another night in there and enjoying a loop that connects either the inland areas and the ancient fishing towns along the southeastern coast.
So, left our base in Scicli, we'll ride along the coastline across small fishing villages as Donnalucata, Marina di Ragusa and Punta Secca.
We ride inland again up to Donnafugata castle. With its white façade and Venetian Gothic loggia, this is one of the most fascinating buildings of Sicily.
From there we'll continue towards one of the most important towns in Sicily: Ragusa. It's a quite big town with about 70 thousand inhabitants and together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it's part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The list of the main sights in Ragusa is so long that it would deserve a separated web page to name them all.
Some examples? The Cathedral of Ragusa and the church of Santa Maria delle Scale. We ride back to Scicli going again through Modica. For sure it's worth grabbing some more chocolate!
Accommodation and dinner at a four-star hotel.
We'll ride again along the quiet and lazy Sicilian countryside, enjoying the ever present up and downs amid the typical Sicilian dry-stone walls. We first reach Giarratana, a tiny village famous in particular for the production of a particular variety of onion. Then we ride again across the lonely countryside: a very panoramic road in the wild Sicily among pastures, cultivations and prairies up to our destination: Palazzolo Acreide, a charming town listed in the UNESCO World Heritage, combining opulent Baroque architecture, several archaeological ruins and a sophisticated gastronomic scene that belies its small-town stature. Overnight and dinner at a four-star hotel.
From Palazzolo Acreide we'll start with a ring ride inside the park of Anapo valley to enjoy the amazing riding across wild inner Sicily and its little villages like Cassaro and Ferla. As soon as we'll be again close to Palazzolo Acreide, we'll ride towards the coastline to Noto, along a road that doesn't lack of switchbacks. Noto is considered the capital of Baroque in Sicily. It was destroyed by a devastating earthquake of 1693 and completely rebuilt. Thanks to its massive churches and public buildings, with stylish architectural details, it deserved to get in the list of the World Culture Heritage list of UNESCO. Noto, as so many places in the island is not only an open air museum, but also an area where local delicacies are made. And since we want to make a trip become an experience, don't only want to taste the local products, but also discover the way they make it.
You'll find very interesting discover how our friend Corrado produces the local ricotta in his small farm!
Overnight at a four-star hotel.
Last stage, but still full of great sights. From Noto we will ride up the Natural Park of Cavagrande del Cassibile, a huge nature reserve that surrounds the canyons formed by the Cassibile river, and then down through a winding descent to Avola, a noted town for the production of a wine you will drink quite often in Sicily: the red and robust Nero d'Avola. From there, we will ride along the coastline to Ortigia, heart of Syracuse, one of the most beautiful and famous towns of Sicily.
After an amazing week of rides, it's time to discover Syracuse, with its stunning Greek ruins, the Baroque buildings all around and its market that reminds us we're not too far from north Africa. Overnight at a three-star hotel.
Transfer to Catania airport (not included) and end of services.