Welcome to Italy, perhaps the really "real" Italy as some say. We have a great trip ahead of us. We will visit great places and dive deeper into the history of Sicily and mainland Italy. We will experience countless curves in the backland of different provinces. In the end we will be able to admire the "eternal city".
Jule and Thomas
Today is our first riding day, we are already a little excited. So we start in the best Sicilian weather. On the fastest way we escape the traffic in Catania. This means first of all a few km of highway. What is not so bad, so we have the opportunity to let the first impressions of the landscape on us. And can have a first lock to the snow-covered Etna to our right. After a few kilometers we leave the highway and find ourselves on small roads with hardly any traffic in the backlands. In the middle of nowhere, the small town of Radusa is waiting for us. There we drink our first official cappucino of the tour. Typical Italy, after a short time a policeman comes to us, not to give a ticket but to admire our bikes. And to show us pictures of his "sweetheart".
Some curves later we reach the highlight of the day, the Villa Romana del Casale. World famous for its mosaics. After a more than one-hour tour of this special place, we strengthen ourselves, typical Italian with Caprese and antipasti.
In the afternoon, in addition to beautiful roads, we also experience the adventure of refueling in Italy
We still have some time left and drive directly to the Valley of the Temples to round off our impression of the diversity of this region. And this is only the beginning.
Jule and Thomas
After a lovely and rich breakfast in our beautiful hotel (should I eat the pistacchio- or almondcream stuffed fresh croissant?) we are ready for the ride! Today the most lovely small and curvy roads await us! And also very important for a successful day of riding: little to no other vehicles on the roads. Perfect!
The little sizilian village Cianciana invites us for a coffee break on a lovely balcony before we continue our journey to Prizzi. The landscape surrounding us is breathtaking. Wheras some of us expacted Sicily to be rather dry and golden brown, the nature end of march surprises us with plenty of colors! No idea how many shades of green exsit, but you can find plenty of them here. As well as flowers and blooming trees. Purple, red, blue and pink. And when you open your helmet for just a moment you get to sniff the fresh air.
Of course we have to stop at the famous street sign of CORLEONE to take some good pictures! This and many other villages got ruled by the Mafia... got or still get? Who knows. Have you seen the movie "The good father"? You should!
For lunch Thomas surprises us with a delishious Picnik. And we by far ain´t the only one in th forest park. As today is a national holiday in Italy, Anniversario della liberazione d´Italia, we are sourrounded by plenty of families enjoing their day day together. It smells like BBQ, music and laughter fills the air. What a very special athmosphere!
Last but not least we enjoy some gelato, cannoli and espresso in Caccamo. Refuling takes less than 20 minutes today with 10 bikes and just one working nozzle... that´s a record!
A new day in paradise awaits us..... well let's see. It can't get any better than this, can it? Curvy it should be today, we were told. That's what it was the last few days. And some Interesting places we have already seen too.
We leave so in the morning Cefalu and ride a few km along the coast. What a start into the day. After a short time we turn away from the coast into the mountain regions of Madonie and Nebrodi. Our first stop is a small town called Castelbuono. It is incredible how small and narrow roads can be. Here there are donkeys instead of big trucks to pick up the garbage. We admire the namesake castle and strengthen ourselves with a coffee. After that, the party really gets started. We drive up to the national parks. Countless curves and good road conditions, prepare us a varied and special riding experiance.
We finally reach Sperlinga. Where we can admire a fortress from the Norman period, built into a rock. The climb is strenuous but the view is breathtaking. Further, felt 1000 curves later we come closer and closer to Mount Etna. It goes just as winding down again, towards the coast, as it went up. Our destination today is Taormina a city that is not considered one of the most beautiful of the island for nothing. And yes it is curvy and yes there are amazing things to discover away from the usual tourist places.
Jule and Thomas
What to do on a rest day? Option one: checking out the pool, option two: shopping and sightseeing in beautiful Taormina, option three: a day at the beach... or why don´t we just go motocycling again? Great idea! From the terrace of our hotel we can already see our destination in the distance, lightly covered with snow, steaming slightly. Mount Etna!
After we passed several little villages we get to ride on beautiful curvy roads with great grip! A quick coffee stop in the forest, before we hit right into the lava fields. Fascinating!
Surprisingly we ain´t the only one who had the great idea of visiting Mount Etna. We enjoyed the mostly empty fun road when all of a sudden, arriving at the top of the vulcano, a bunch of people appear. However they made it up here, luckily not on our route! Some of us try the famous Arancino for lunch. So delicious!
In the early afternoon we get back to the hotel in Taormina and have enough time to visit the lovely place packed with plenty cool shops where you can find unique suveniers or a new pair of shoes, right, Justin?
We end our day gathered around a long table in the Pizzaria, sharing the best stories of the day and many laughters. Hard to believe that four days ago we were still strangers. One of plenty things we have in common: The love of ice cream! A midnight gelato is the perfect end to a successful day!
Jule and Thomas
So today it is, the day of farewell.
but wait a minute, the tour is not yet at all to end..... righ,t today we just say goodbye to Sicily and start the 2nd section of our tour. The mainland is waiting for us. But before we check in on the ferry, Sicily shows itself once again from its best side. No less than one of the best motorcycle routes of the island it should be today.
So we start as usual with the descent in the direction of the coast to turn shortly thereafter in the mountainous backcountry. It almost seemed as if the access to the motorcycle paradise was blocked. As typical Italian, some locals cleared a sign aside and assured us "that's okay" we decided without further ado to try our luck and were not disappointed. There was an almost perfect endless combination of curves, hairpins and views waiting for us ... Dreamlike. The first coffee of the day we have really earned
Countless curves, some highway and a very Italian traffic jam situation later we reach the ferry which brings us to the mainland.
Once there, we enjoy a "gelato" on the beach in Scilla, and tackle the last km of the day. Again and again we are rewarded with great views of the coast. A little later than usual we reach the hotel.
This day was a small adventure and will remain in our memory for a long time.
Jule and Thomas
After our breakfast we climb up the italian boot northway. Today no navigation system is needed. As long as the sea is to your feft hand side you are on the right way!
We pass by many small viallages, enjoying the beautiful wide view and the fresh salty sea air. At noon we arrive in the unique place called DIAMANTE. Ever since 1980th artists from all over the world travel ro this little village and perpetuate themselves in the streets. The result: A huge public open-air art museum! "Where do I find the art?", someone asked when we arrived in Diamante. Just open your eyes and walk through the streets. It´s everywhere! You will be impressed!
Before we continue our journey we enjoy a wonderful lunch, right at the beach.
In the afternoon we visit the statue of redeemer of Maratea. The statue can be seen from far ahead and finally arrived at the statue we can also enjoy the most beautiful view from up the hill!
We had to take the bus for the last kilometer. And let me tell you this: Neither the bus, nor the driver looked very trustworthy. But we made it up and back safely!
The day begins as the previous one ended with a wonderful view of the Mediterranean Sea and the steep coast of Maratea. Contrary to all forecast`s it is dry this morning.... and we are confident that the weather will hold. After we have ridden along the coast for the last day and a half, today we will head back into the mountains.
After a short briefing we start. First along the coast, the road is perfectly developed and awaits us with beautiful views and tight curves. After a few kilometers we turn off into the mountains. Unlike on the coast, there is hardly any traffic up here. Countless curves later we stop in a small town for a coffee. No idea where we are but it is very Italian up here. The way down towards the coast is similarly spectacular as the way up. Once again, the Italian roads show their best side.
Back on the coast, the highlight of the day awaits us. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paestum. We enjoy our lunch within sight of 2500 year old Greek temples. Yes, you read correctly "Greek temple". And yes we are still in Italy.
After we had enough time to discover this special place we ride the last kilometers to Pompeii. We notice that even the highways in Italy are curvier than some roads in the USA.
We tried hard to convince the weather forecast to change it´s mind, but it´s stuck with it: Rain all day! During our daily briefing in the morning we can already hear the raindropps pattering on the roof. The decicion is clear: We rather skip the mountains and chose the direct way to our hotel in Rome. Greetings to some motocycle companies out there: If you advertise your cloth to be waterproof, please make sure they are! Some of us end up feeling like wet dogs. Yet we are happy wet dogs. It is only liquid sunshine! And the SPA and the bar get closer and closer!
After we said goodbye to our new friends last night with a heavy heart. For one man, there is still a small adventure on the program. Salah and Thomas set off to discover Rome.... And there is a lot to see. Salah has visited Rome before so we were looking for pictures to refresh his memory. And since we are now times discoverers, we have thus swung another time on 2 wheels and explored the city. After we had refreshed our memories we let the day end with a small shopping tour.