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RTS2303 - from Sicily to Rome

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 | Christoph Berg / Angela | Europe / Italy

Majestically dominating the scenery is Mount Etna, Europe's highest active volcano.
Bella and Luis from Guatemala at the lava fields of Mount Etna

Day 1: Catania - Agrigento

Today was the first day of driving in Sicily. 230 km through endless expanses draw the typical landscape with mowed down pastures, which already in late spring change color from green to brown. Sicily is also known for its many places of worship. So we paid a visit to the Villa Romana. Everyone was very impressed, especially by the millions of mosaic stones. After an extensive lunch at an agriturismo, we set off again for the next highlight, the June Temple in the Valle dei Templi. We were already very late, but so we had the pleasure to experience the Greek temple illuminated. In addition, full moon, and the scenery was perfect.

Wann geht´s endlich los ?!

In der Villa Romana del Casale.

Der Bikini wurde bereits vor fast 2.000 Jahren erfunden, wie das Mosaik beweist.

Im Valle dei Templi. Im "Tal der "Tempel".

Lunch im Agriturismo Trinakria.

Der Junotempel in Agrigento bei Nacht.

Day 2: Agrigento - Cefalu

We left the coast to take the mountains in the west of the island under the
wheels. Between spectacular rock towers we cruised through
endless landscapes, encountering almost no vehicles.
High in the mountains we came across the Mafia strongholds of Prizzi and
Corleone. One of the most famous families based there is the Cosa
Nostra. We were impressed and took even more care with securing our
motorcycle stuff even more carefully. The element of surprise had
Angela had the element of surprise on her side when she treated us to a fantastic picnic lunch.
picnic lunch.
The following brought us back to the coast. Our destination Cefalu was
already recognizable from far away by its mighty rock "Rocca di
Cefalu", at the feet of which the small town is squeezed together in a very small space.
squeezed together.

Prizzi ist eine der ältesten Städe Siziliens und Sitz einer mächtigen Mafia-Familie.

Am herrlichen Picknickplatz Godrano.

Angela hat gezaubert.

Day 3: Cefalú to Taormina

Leaving Cefalù, our today's route started out with a very scenic and relaxing ride along the northern Sicilian  coast. A stop for a capucchino and an espresso - and maybe a little gelato was the perfect preparation, just at the right time before we took a right turn into the Sicilian mountains. The Parco dei Nebrodi is home to Sicily's most diverse forests and has some of Sicily's hightest mountains.

After our delicious lunch in Certosa, we circumnavigated Siciliy's famous mount Etna and arrived at Taormina, our destination for the next two nights.

John had a blast riding up the mountain passes on his BMW 1250 GS
These impressions were shared also by our always good humoured riders from Guatemala
We feel very well protected by our two Canadian police officers Rod and Gord
The view of Mount Etna from the village of Certosa - except that Mount Etna didn't "show up". He "got stuck" in the clouds
And it stayed like that for the rest of the day. Maybe we will be more lucky, when we get to ride up the volcano tomorrow on our rest day.
Gord and Rod from Canada
Bella and Luis from Guatemala
Taormina at the Sicilian southeast coast - what a view from our hotel !!
Without exception - everyone in the group enjoyed our delicious dinner - either pizza, pasta, or seafood

Day 4: rest day in Taormina

Only a few riders in our group were up for a ride today. The remaining guests decided to spend a leisurely day. No blame. Taormina is such a historically interesting and beautiful town that it is hard not to go and visit it. Nestled high up on a rock, one might start sweating already by the thought of climbing up. Apparently the people from Taormina had mercy with the tourists. They kindly built a cable car, which conveniently chauffeurs you all the way up to the top. Among other historical buildings they even have a Roman theater on the rock.

Well, just so that you know, the ride up to Sicily's volcanoe is no less than spectacular, as well.

It all depends on how you look at things, doesn't it? From down there...
... or from all the way up on top
Sicilian parking... the real question, however, is - what was there first? The car or the wall
Taormina's Roman theater and the mount Etna
Corso Umberto I is the central pedestrian street in Taormina.
Especially in the evening light, the 3,357 m high Etna unfolds its deceptive beauty.
Rod, Gord and Steven visibly enjoyed the trip to Etna in the very best weather conditions.

Day 5: Taormina to Parghelia

Full attention at the Daily Briefing.
Ready for Riding.

Day 6: Parghelia - Acquafredda

The weather remained true to us again today. Not a cloud in the sky and perfect 24 degrees were the guarantees for a dream day. First we passed the beautiful Calabrian sandy beaches. In Falerna Marina, a typical vacation resort on the coast, we had our first coffee stop. We continued along the coast. The beaches were already deserted, because in October the season is also over here. Behind Scalea we headed for the mountains. Smoothly the group took every turn, and gradually the familiarity with the machines and the traffic pays off.

The highlight in the true sense of the word was the visit to the Statua del Redentore above vo Maratea. At 20 meters, the statue of Christ looking inland is somewhat smaller than its big brother in Rio de Janeiro, but no less impressive. The ascent on the "road to heaven" is also special. On the completely elevated road, one can get a little queasy. We were rewarded for our visit with a breathtaking panorama with an all-round cream view. Finally, there were a few switchbacks before we finally reached our new hotel in Acquafredda.

Ceremonial handing over of the "Sweeper armor"
On the road on the "road to heaven".
Room with a view
made it !
20 meters rises the Statua del Redendore above the rock.
Stunning rocky coast
Good mood at dinner.

Day 8: rest day Pompei

When asked what the group preferred to do on the 2nd rest day: visit the excavated Pompei or a drive around the Amalfi Coast, of course came: both ! Therefore, we started early with the visit of the city, which was completely buried in 79 AD. Imma led us with heart and soul through the ruins and had a lot of interesting facts and many a nice anecdote in store.

Around noon it was time to take the famous Amalfi Coast under the wheels. In bright sunshine, we first cruised along the north coast, always with a view of Naples and Mount Vesuvius in the background. After a short detour through the mountains, we finally reached the south coast, facing the Gulf of Salerno. This is the more scenically spectacular section with breathtaking cliffs and towns squeezed into the hillsides. We made a coffee stop above Positano and were able to enjoy the view down below and the fancy houses at our leisure. Through the mountains we went back to Pompei.

Some still hadn't had enough and decided to make a detour to Naples in the evening in search of the best pizza.

Imma fascinated with her knowledge.

The "Gladiators" in the Arena.
All participants were fascinated.
Along the main street.
Be careful, biting dog !
View into the whorehouse.
Signpost to the red light district.
Over the abyss on the Amalfi Coast.
Coffee stop in prime location.
Just hang out.

Day 9: Pompei - Rom

Getting in the mood for the tour at the Daily Briefing.
Good mood on the last driving day.
Italian coffee culture even at the vending machine.
Dolce Vita in Italy
A cozy finale on the last evening.
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