Time has passed very quickly and the last day of our tour has finally arrived. So let's finish our loop around Sicily! We left our hotel and many sweepers took us to Sommatino for a nice coffee break with some local guys, original Sicilians of course! We then reached Piazza Armerina where we visited the ancient "Villa Romana del Casale", that contains the greatest collection of Roman mosaics ever found. Not long after that, we could see again the imposing shape of Mount Etna dominating the countryside, Catania was not far anymore!
Don, Charles, Steve and Oliver, thank you for a great ride and also for a great time together! See you hopefully soon in the US!
Let's cross Sicily again, this time from North to South! What a beautiful day, perfect weather and landscapes that will be difficult to forget! We left Cefalù and headed to Caccamo with its beautiful Medieval castle dominating the historical centre. Then, the "Mafia Towns" of Corleone and Prizzi were on our route, but first we reached the remote and fantastic Royal Palace of Ficuzza where we had lunch. A great ride!!! Enjoy the pictures!
After two nights in Taormina, it's time to leave again! Today we have crossed Sicily from the eastern coast to the northern one and reached Cefalu, another very important turistic attraction of this big island. Most of the people simply use the highway and avoid the curvy inland of Sicily so, after leaving the coast, we barely saw other cars during the ride. (well... just a couple of trucks sometimes!!!). Many many many curves and the pavement was not always in perfect conditions, but we managed to reach our hotel in time for relaxing a bit by the pool before dinner.
Mount Etna, the biggest volcano in Europe, is also a great playground for motorcycles! We passed through woods and lava flows on the way up (and of course down!) until we reached the Rifugio Sapienza, the basecamp for all Etna excursions to the very top of the volcano, but we just had lunch there and decided to go back to the hotel and relax before going out again for dinner in the old historical centre of Taormina.
Yes, we finally reached Sicily, the biggest island of the Mediterranean Sea! After leaving Tropea, we spent the whole morning still in Calabria and had lunch at Scilla, located just at the exit of the strait. After that, a short ride to the port of Villa San Giovanni to catch the ferry that quickly took us to the other side. When will they build a bridge? Hopefully never, imagine how those huge pylons would ruin the view... and this is also a very seismic zone! And also imagine (nowadays) how much money would be wasted for corruption! Anyway, after reaching the island we decided not to go straight to the hotel and did another beautiful loop through the Nebrodi mountains.
Two options for today: an easy ride along the coast or a challenging one through the mountains. Well, as usually we took the challenging one, and especially the road from Belvedere Marittimo to Altomonte was a real rollercoaster! After lunch, we used the highway for a few miles and then another rollercoaster took us from Cosenza to Amantea. Tropea, this beautiful little town of Calabria was our destination for today and will be the last overnight on the continent. Tomorrow we are entering Sicily, stay tuned!!!
After leaving Pompei, we used the highway to reach Paestum where we could admire some of the best preserved greek temples and enjoy a tasty lunch at the Caseificio Borlotti. After that, we rode through the Cilento National Park, and leaving the coastline the traffic simply disappeared! A last "gelato break" in Sapri and we were ready to reach Maratea!
Pompei is the perfect basecamp to explore the beautiful and famous (unfortunately!) Amalfi coast! Why did I write "unfortunately"? Well, because being so famous and being today a very nice and warm friday, many people had our same idea and of course we experienced some quite heavy traffic around Positano and around Amalfi! The problem were not the cars, but the many tour-buses that struggled on the coastal road between sweepers and hairpins! Anyway, we made it, had a nice coffee break near Sorrento, a few picture stops along the coast and a very good lunch in Ravello, where we also visited Villa Rufolo, one of the most beautiful spots of this area.
It seemed that Rome did not want us to leave, like in the movie "The Truman Show", when we reached the Highway suddenly a lot of traffic slowed us down, but we finally made it! After a quick picture break at the lake Albano, just outside of Rome, we hit the beautiful road that took us up to Rocca Massima and then down to the coast, where we had lunch in Sperlonga by the beach. We managed to reach Pompei before 5pm, so we also had time for a visit at the world famous archeological area before a tasty (and big!) dinner at our hotel. Take a look at the pictures of today!
The "Eternal City", Roma, is a perfect place to start exploring Southern Italy, and this is probably the best time of the year as well, so we are all eager to leave... but there was a little problem to solve today! Fedex did not deliver the parcel yet, with almost all the motorcycle gear of Steven, Charles and Don... and when we were sure that they would have not delivered before our "deadline", we finally decided to go to a shop and buy new equipment. So we are back on schedule, stay tuned for this beautiful tour!!!