DISCOVERY OF THE GREAT...

The story...

The road that connects Agrigento to Palermo, always in Sicily is an important direction of movement for men, animals and things. Since the Archaic age it has allowed the connection between the shores of the Mediterranean and those of the Tyrrhenian, so that the South could breathe the air of the North and its cultural contaminations. From Greek settlers from the Aegean islands that came in the seventh century. to found the Sicilian poleis and confronted and clashed with the Phoenician peoples who occupied the western cusp of the island, to the Romans who, once taken Akragas went up this way to conquer Panormus, building a network of ordered statio and mansio, points built at precise distances that allowed horses to change, refresh or sleep, remained active until the fourth century. A.D. . From the Byzantines who shortly after occupied the region and inserted it into the thema of Sicily, settling on the fortresses and on the hills for defensive purposes to Muslim warriors who from North Africa, Arabia and Spain invaded the island in the ninth century. transforming the face of the streets and villages that over the centuries thrived or were abandoned. Up to the French knights coming from the coasts of Normandy. In little more than thirty years, the Normans led by the Grand Count Ruggero d'Altavilla and his brother Roberto the Guiscardo, reconquered the island for two centuries now under the control of the Emirs and recristianized the whole territory, rebuilding the churches of the Greek rite, building new Latin rituals, allowing that osmosis that created the conditions for the Sicilian society of today. What you will see are not just paths between the fields and the various urban centers. These are the legacies left to us by these peoples, it is the Trazzere Regie that at the end of the 19th century the Bourbons cataloged and designed in their Royal Registers. All this mixture is what you will encounter. What still makes us say: "Siciliani semu, a populu who sings in joy; 'Nta lu sangu avemu the strength of ancient cavaleri, Nurmanni, Greeks, Arabs and Spaniards, who is Sicily vosiru vantari ... ". (source: official website)

The path...

"La Magna Via Francigena starts in front of the Cathedral of Palermo and following Corso Calatafimi reaches Monreale and its Cathedral, walking side by side with the Itinerarium Rosaliae, from here, across the valley you pass the Conca d'Oro and you reach the hills of Santa Cristina Gela and the lake of Piana degli Albanesi.The road continues through the expanses of wheat towards the Sanctuary of Tagliavia and towards Corleone, reached which it goes towards Prizzi. You enter the village of Sicani after having turned around the artificial lake and from here you continue towards the Natural Reserve of Monte Carcaci to reach Castronovo di Sicilia, the geographical center of the Magna Via. The route from here follows the course of the river Platani, passing from Cammarata and San Giovanni Gemini, up to cut the railway, the Statale and climb towards the fortress of Sutera. Under the bulk of San Paolino the road continues touching the rural villages of Campofranco, Milena and Racalmuto and reaches the center of Grotte, a small town in the Agrigento area. The last stages lead us to cross the Platani and reach the mining village of Comitini and Aragona to finish with the center of Joppolo Giancaxio. The last part of the country reaches the imposing fortress of Agrigento, its Rupe Atenea and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the Valley of the Temples. "(Source: official website)

The stages on our territory

stages Castronovo > Cammarata > San Giovanni Gemini

Municipalities: Cammarata, Castronovo di Sicilia, San Giovanni Gemini Length of the route: 12.7 km Maximum elevation: 692 m Minimum elevation :: 380 m Difficulty: Medium

Description:

Route: Asphalt 35% Sterarto 65% Maximum slope: 24.3%; The heart of the Magna Via Francigena is right between the Rocca di San Vitale with its Norman ruins and its churches and the plateau of Kassar on the mountain from which the path descends. A visit to the whole center of the village of Sicani allows us to better understand the genuineness of the reception. The road continues along a nineteenth-century trazzera that cuts through the modern hairpin bends, crosses the sports field, the emergency runway for the helicopter and the cemetery and reaches the intersection of the provinces leading to the fast flowing. From here, 400 m after the intersection you meet the turning point for the path that leads to the Colle San Vitale Company which houses within its grounds the precious archaeological evidence of the Necropolis of Capelvenere: a large rock excavated for the arrangement of the burials and reused over the centuries also for residential purposes. After crossing the site, you cross the Platani along a passage that in winter is not recommended for the flow of water but that in spring and summer allows the pleasure of a cool foot bath. Once you have passed the river, you reach the most imposing control site of the Magna Via, the Casale di San Pietro, which probably preserves the memory of the Islamic settlement that surrounded the farmhouse mentioned by the Norman diplomas. The excavations of the Archaeological Superintendency of Palermo and the missions of the University of Rome Tor Vergata and York are bringing to light new discoveries that will clarify the history of this place that has always seen the passage of people from north to south. Leaving the Casale behind you reach a fountain and from here you start to climb the trazzera that follows the course of the tributary of the Platani, the Saracen stream, until you get in sight of Cammarata and its castle. Entering the village allows you to stock up on food and water and continue along the track to the neighboring town of San Giovanni Gemini. (Source: official website)

Stages Cammarata/San Giovanni Gemini > Sutera

Municipalities: Cammarata, San Giovanni Gemini, Sutera Route length: 20.3 km Maximum elevation: 654 m Minimum elevation :: 250 m Difficulty: Alt

Description:

From the village of San Giovanni Gemini, an inter-estate road allows you to get out of the town and take the road that goes down to the river. The stage towards Sutera can easily find a stop in the accommodation facilities of the territory that provide welcome and refreshment to the traveler and from here continue along the old National for about 2 km and then cross the railway and the SS 189, in a straight stretch where it is easier to go through keeping the attention high. It begins a trazzera that climbs for about 1,5 km and reaches the cemetery and the village of Acquaviva Platani, where it is possible to rest and recharge the water. From here a former disused provincial takes us along the traces that walk along the ridge to the hills that surround Sutera and the Rocca di San Paolino. Enchanting landscapes in every season of the year that are the backdrop to the farms along the way, like the last before Sutera that preserves the medieval origins of the town. The last kilometers lead to the town and its imposing fortress, a sacred site that can be visited and perhaps fortified in the medieval period. A visit to the town and its precious little pearls is not to be missed: the ràbato that still preserves the urban layout of the Arabian type, made up of small streets and houses built one next to the other, the ancient spy of San Simone, the church mother dedicated to the Assumption and the municipal ethno-anthropological museum located in the former convent of the Carmelites, the hill of Santa Croce and the palace of Francesco Salamone, one of the 13 Italian leaders who disputed the famous Disfida di Barletta. (source: official website)

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