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RTS1704 - Catania to Rome

Tuesday, October, 24nd, 2017 | Claudia Wenhart / Manuel Marabese | Europe

Last day: Pompei to Rom

Already our last riding day .... We took the highway out of Pompei and around Naples before we headed west to the back to the coast again, to enjoy our last lunch stop on the beach. Sperlonga was our place to stop for today. In the afternoon we rode through the "Monte Lepini" mountain range and stopped for a last photo at Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence.

What a great tour... not one drop of rain when we were riding, breathtaking views, tiny little villages, delicious food and for sure numberless curves.

Thanks everybody for a great ride and a super tour.

Day 9: Restday in Pompei

Today is our second restday in Pompei. In the early morning we went to visit the ancient Roman town-city. In was founded in the 6th century BC and was concquered and became a Roman colony in 80 BC. 160 years later, its population was estimated at 11.000 people and the city had a complex water system an amphitheatre, a gymnasium and a port. It was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash in the eruption of Mount vesuvius in AD 79. Antonella showed us a lot of details and it was amazing to see how people lived so many years ago.

What a great afternoon on the Amalfi Coast, after a short thunderstorm at lunch we went of to Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi. We enjoyed the sun and were lucky that there was less traffic on the roads than normal.

 

Positano
The dome of Amalfi
... our chef Hans, in a fast food kitchen 2000 years ago
.... our group in front of the amphitheater

Day 8: Aquafredda to Pompei

We started a bit later today and were right on the spectacular coast road around the Golfo di Policastro. We turned for a short loop into the mountains, with very good small and twisty roads. It was really fun to ride there. 

Manu prepared us a perfect picnic at "Caseificio Barlotti", a well-known mozzarella producer in this area, Campania is famous for it's buffalo mozzarella production. We said "Hello" to the buffaloes.

After lunch we visited the tremendous temples of Paestum and headed directly to Pompei at the bottom of Mount Vesuvius. We will explore the famous excavations tomorrow morning.

 
Ted, Nate and Walter in front of one temple at Paestum
Nice garden in our hotel in Pompei
... the buffaloes
... only men allowed...
... everything is set-up perfect
Thank you Manu for a great and yummy picnic
Lisa, Heiri and Hans are enjoying their coffee in a typical Italian bar....
Claudia, Ted und Nate
Fotostop in Ruffano
Heloisa and Sergio having fun
Heiri always in a good mood

Day 7: Tropea to Aquafredda

Today was our longest riding day, with a very challenging ride. Amantea was our first stop for a great Cappucino and yummy icecream. 

The nearby La Sila mountain range is perfekt for riding at its best. Tiny littel villages along the route give us an impression of rural Italian life. In Altomonte Francesco was waiting with a delicious lunch for us in his very cosy restaurant.

In the afternoon, we rode back to the coast and enjoyed The "Costa dei Cedri". 

With a perfect sundown, our last highlight of the day was the Redemer! A big statue of Christ on top of Monte San Biagio with an amazing view over the bay of Maratea. It was fantastic.

The food in Villa Theta is always so amazing
Great lunch spot
Lisa is warming-up in the sun
Lisa and Chad, enjoying their Cappuccino
Hans and Heiri with ice-cream
Ted and Walter
Nate and Claudia
Amazing view to the coast

Day 6: Leaving Sicily to Tropea

Today we are leaving Sicily and heading to Calabria. In the morning we took a nice road  in the mountains in Sicily to say "Good bye" before we jumped on the ferry to San Giovanni.

The road up to Francavilla and Novara di Sicilia is fabulous, in fairly good condition and in this season traffic is totally absent. The small break from the ride on the ferry was the perfect way to say good bye to Sicily and to move towards "the continent", as Sicilians say.

A group shot before leaving Taormina...
Time for a rest after countless of curves, here Ted and Nate coming around one of the switchbacks.
We can still see the Etna in the background, always smoking...
Sergio and Heloisa found the smallest arch of Sicily!
Last souvenir before leaving Sicily... kitchen towels with a map of the region! How convenient, better than our maps!
Nate and Ted soaking in the breeze... Calabria is just across the sound.
Lunch time, making friends with bubbly locals...
Scilla is another very pretty coastal village, surrounded by cliffs.
The last panoramic stop, we can still see Etna very very far away in the background...
And once we get to the hotel, what a surprise! Claudia has prepared for us a cool boot beer!!! Grazie!!!

Day 5: Restday in Taormina

The weather is perfect here, so we started in the morning to our restday ride to Etna. Curvy roads, through the lava fields and small villages brought us up to the highest accesible point at Etna. We took a short brake and looked in the Silvestri crater, which is not active anymore. 

What a majestic view in this bright day!
Coffee stop in the morning at Refugio Bruneck
Claudia climbing lava fields.... hopefully it's already cold!
Hello from your tour guides, happy on top of the Etna road!
Walking on the rim of one of the craters...
Amazing view to the Ionian Sea
... what a yummy dinner in Forza D'Agro... we all thought ithe food service will never end....

Day 4: Cefalú - Taormina

Today we went all the way east through Madonie and Nebrodi regiional natural park. Perfect curves and road conditions brought us to our frist stop in Castelbuono On tiny little streets we made our way to the main square in front of Castello dei Ventimiglia, where we said "Hello" to Valentina .... guess who was this

Next stop was Sperlinga, first mentioned in 1082 and famous for its troglodyte dwellings. We took a look at the caves and had a relaxed coffee with nice view to the valley.

 

Further on to Nicosia, Cerami to our lunch stop in Cesarò, and again yummy homemade antipasti and different sorts of pasta.

Our last foto stop was at the foot of Ethna, where we got an impresse of the big lava fields.

 

... Etna always in visual range
Selfies always fun.... Walter and Claudia
Hans with his bike....
Heiri with Etna in the background
Chad and Lisa, love their Ducati
Walter on the lava field
Heiri arriving to the hotel in Taormina, up high on the cliff.
Ravioli with piastachio sauce
Small flats in caves in Sperlinga
... ladies time, Lisa, Heloisa and Claudia
Gangi on top of a mountain
Ted, Nate and Chad in Castelbuono
Heiri and Hans always in a good mood

Day 3: Agrigento - Cefalù

A great morning sun, overlooking from the hotel terrace over the Valle dei Templi... a place with 2600 years of history. Amazing. In the 4th century BC Agrigento (Akragas) had about half a million inhabitants, simply insame for that hera.

Today we are crossing Sicily south-north passing through the famous villages of Prizzi and Corleone (The Godfather, anyone?). In the meantime Claudia will prepare for us a delicious picnic in the forest of Ficuzza, continuing then across Roccapalumba and Caccamo towards the nothern shore.

We try to get there early enough to go for a stroll around Cefalù, a charming little medieval village with several centuries of histories and stories...

Morning view over Valle dei Templi
Ted and Nate wrestling these big hogs on the curvy bumpy roads of Sicilian hinterland, well done! Shall we mention also the gravel parts and the huge potholes?
Time to breath in this landscape...
Here they are, posing in front of Prizzi.
And now it's time for Corleone...
What a wonderful picnic Claudia has prepared for us! Yummy!
Afternoon coffee (and gelato) beside the castle of Caccamo... practically unassailable.
Sunset along Cefalù beach...
A window over Bella Italia...
Sweet dreams everyone..... see you tomorrow for another gorgeous day!

Day 2: First Riding day from Catania to Agrigento

Everybody was keen to get on his bike to start the tour. So we had our briefing in the morning sun on the terrace in front of the hotel and even before 9 we were gone. Our first foto and coffee stop was in Raddusa, a small tipical Sicilian village. We had a good coffee and headed on to our first highlight. Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina. In the afternoon, Mazzarino, Sommatino and Castrofilippo where on our way, before we end up in Agrigento with its famous Valle dei Templi.

Alle waren schon ganz heiß drauf endlich los zu fahren. Unser Briefing fand auf der Terrasse in der Morgensonne statt und schon kurz vor 9 waren wir auf unserem Weg. Unser erster Foto und Kaffeestop war in Raddusa, einem typisch sizilianischem Dörfchen. Danach gings weiter zu unserem ersten Highlight, die Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina. Am Nachmittag führte uns unser Weg durch Mazzarino, Sommatino und Catrofilippo, bevor wir in Agrigent unserem Ziel für diese Nacht angekommen sind. Agrigent ist bekannt für ihr berühmtes Tal der Tempel.

... great view at sunset in Agrigento
...yummy antipasti
Heloisa and Sergio in Villa Romana del Casale
... the two brothers having a good time
... the famous mosaic of the bikini ladies
Ted and Nate enjoying their coffee
Heiri, Chad and Lisa
Hans and Heiri
Chad and Lisa
Our group

Day 1: Welcome to Sicily!

It's still a fantastic late summer weather here and Sicily is ready to welcome our riding group once again. This tour will bring us excellent scenrery, exciting roads, delicious food and plenty of good photo moments... ready to go?

What a great day to start our welcome briefing outside at the pool in the late afternoon sun. A mixed group from the USA, Canada, Brazil, Austria and Switzerland is starting their route from Catania to Rome. The weather is predicted to be very good, so we will enjoy the nice and warm days on our bikes through Sicily and South Italy.

Was für ein toller Tag für unser Welcome Briefing draussen am Pool in der späten Nachmittagssonne. Eine gemischte Gruppe aus Amerika, Kanada, Brasilien, Österreich und der Schweiz macht sich auf Ihren Weg von Catania nach Rom. Das Wetter für diese Woche ist perfekt vorhergesagt und so werden wir die letzten warmen Spätsommertage auf unseren Bikes durch Sizilien und Süditalien genießen.

Everyone decided autonomously to wear the tour tshirt at the briefing ! Wow, for the first time everyone in a group has opened the welcome letter. And has even read it! Congrats!!
Buongiorno Etna!
Garden view of our charming hotel Villa del Paradiso.
Manuel and Claudia are preparing the bikes... time for a high pressure shower!
And Mister Blue Iveco is ready as well!
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Add a comment Rate this post
Chad and Lisa Wallace
Wednesday, October, 25nd, 2017 at 18:55

Danke Claudia and Manuel for an amazing journey through southern Italy. We are leaving with so many good memories. Can't wait until our next tour!!
Claudia Wenhart
Thursday, October, 26nd, 2017 at 22:46

Dear Lisa and Chad,
thank you for touring with us. The weather, the food and our group were perfect to keep nice memories. Enjoy Rome and have a safe trip home. Hope to see you next year on one of our tours.
Claudia & Manu
Sérgio e Heloísa lucchesi
Sunday, October, 22nd, 2017 at 07:14

Uma viagem incrível de paisagens estonteantes,estradas lindas, dias maravilhosos
Charlie Green
Thursday, October, 19nd, 2017 at 13:57

Hello Claudia and Manuel
I know you guys will show this group a great tour ride safe Charlie
Manuel Marabese
Saturday, October, 21nd, 2017 at 00:00

Hello Charlie,

how kind of you! Yes we do our very best, as always!
Claudia Wenhart
Thursday, October, 19nd, 2017 at 18:27

Hey Charly,
thank you for your comment. Yes it's a great tour, super nice weather, great food and yummy food.
See you hopefully next year.
Greetings Claudia
Angela
Tuesday, October, 17nd, 2017 at 10:40

Hey there Claudia & Manuel,

Wishing you a wonderful tour and great rides!!!

Enjoy
Angela
Manuel Marabese
Saturday, October, 21nd, 2017 at 00:01

Thx Angela, yep all great down here... summer never dies here!
Claudia Wenhart
Wednesday, October, 18nd, 2017 at 18:22

Hey Angela,
Thank you very much, we are enjoying the late summer sun in South Italy.
Have a good time and see you soon.
Claudia
Monday, October, 16nd, 2017 at 17:15

Hey Claudi , Manu , Heiri und Hansi
Hey beobachte euch
Manuel Marabese
Saturday, October, 21nd, 2017 at 00:00

Hallo Gaby!!!! Ja alles gut hier, ein "salute" mit Nero d'Avola für dich!
Claudia Wenhart
Wednesday, October, 18nd, 2017 at 18:22

Hallo Gaby,
Danke für Deinen Kommentar, schade dass Du nicht mit uns unterwegs bist, aber Andalusien war bestimmt auch toll.
Bis bald mal wieder.
Claudia
Monday, October, 16nd, 2017 at 17:08

Hey Claudi, Manu, Heiri und Hansi
Beobachte euch

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