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RTS 1701 - From Rome to Sicily

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 | Michael Kreuzmeir / Alan Magnoni | Europe

Ciao! Buongiorno! Hello! Welcome to Italy!

We're about to start our Rome to Sicily tour. Have a look and follow us to experience some real Italien motorcycle adventures!

Day of Arrival in Rome

Italy is one of the most popular vacation countires in Europe because of its wonderful beaches and mountains. You can find a great variety of landscapes, history and people here. Of course motorcycle riders from all over Eruope know Italy as a perfect spot for riding! And so the bikes are waiting outside the hotel right in the heart of the Italian capital very close to Vatican City as well. Let the adventure begin!

The bikes are waiting outside the hotel. Clean and shiny, ready to bring adventures!
We sat down to get to know each other better and talk about the upcoming days of the trip.
Michael, one of the two tour guides, is explaining more details about the tour.
After the theory part there is only one more part to be done - the bike hand-over!
After all the paperwork is done and the bikes are prepared we go for our first Italien dinner together.

Day 1 - Rome to Pompei

We leave the 'Eternal City' going south to Pompei. On the way we will have some sights like Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence and vacation retreat for the pope, or Sperlonga, a beautiful seaside town that is located half way between Rome and Naples.

Our first stop after leaving Rome. Jim and Scott in front of Lake Alban with Castel Gandolfo at the top.
Castel Gandolfo is the summer seat and vacation retreat for the pope. Also Benedikt Ratzinger, the first pope in history to step down (Benedict the 16th), lives here.
The first of many group pictures.
We stopped for coffee at the top of Rocca Massima, a little town in the mountains with quite a view. Augusto was the first to take some pictures.
We arrived in Sperlonga for lunch and we had amazing Spaghetti with fresh seafood.
Sperlonga is a lovely town and many Romans come here for their holidays.
The houses are clustered together on a steep headland.
The terraces are right above the sea.
Leaving Sperlonga we headed into the mountains. Of course we stopped to have a look back down to the coast.
Right, that's where we just had lunch.
After some more riding we needed another coffee.
Luckily they also had fantastic 'gelato', Italian ice cream.
Who could look at this without wanting to try at least two or three flavours?
Debra looks quite happy with her choice of gelato.
In the evening after arriving to Pompei we had two beautiful ladies joining us for dinner. It turned out that Debras colleague was in Pompei too with her friend. The world is a tiny place.
A rare picture of both Edelweiss tour guides! Michael and Alan.
After dinner we walked into the town center and took a couple of pictures.
Eileen, Lauren, Debra and Scott together in front of the basilika.

Day 2 - Restday in Pompei

Our second day was a rest day meaning that we have plenty of different options how to spend the day. So we split up into two groups. One taking the train to Naples to find the best Pizza and the other taking the bikes along the Amalfi coast line to find the best roads. We had a really great time!

Our first stop on the motorcycle loop to Amalfi was along the coast to look down to Sorrento.
Scott, Debra and Augusto came with Michael for a ride.
Everywhere along the road they offer fresh lemons and oranges.
If you don't find a parking spot just do it like the locals - park in the middle of the busy road.
Augusto is clearly enjoying his double espresso.
The piazza of Sorrento downtown.
The loop around the Sorrent peninsula offers a great view to the island of Capri which is only 5 km away.
Coming to the south side of the peninsula offers incredible views to the famous towns of Positano and Amalfi.
Our lunch stop for the day with quite a lovely terrace.
'Pasta al cartoccio' is a famous dish where the spaghetti and all the ingredients are put in a bag and the baked in the oven.
'Pasta al cartoccio' - incredibly good pasta!
A picture of Amalfi from its harbour area.
And a panoramic version.
Augusto, Debra and Scott in front of the famous dome of Amalfi.
While the guys on the motorcycle rode around the Sorrent peninsula Jim and Alan took the train to Naples.
The found the famous place with the best pizza in Naples right when they opened.
When they left there was a huge line in front of the restaurant. Yes, all those people are waiting for a table.
After lunch they visited the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.
Beatiful squares with buildings full of history.
After our ride out to the Amalfi coast we came back to Pompei to have a look to the ruins of the old town Pompei which got completely covered in ashes after the vulcano Vesuvo errupted in the year 79 A.D.
We had a personal tour guide just for the ruins beause there is so much information you'd just miss without.
The whole group in front of a 2000 year old shop in the main street of Pompei.
2000 years ago the city was flourishing and around 20.000 people lived here.
The city of Pompei also uses the ruins for outdoor art presentations so the statues are made by the Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj.

Day 3 - Pompei to Aquafredda

On day three of our trip we continued to go south along the coast line. We stopped at Paestum for a bit of sightseeing. The ruins there offer 3 different and well preserved temples of 3 different doric order styles the Greek used during their time. Paestum is a huge excavation area and 2500 years old. It's magnificent to walk through a whole town from a different era. Almost as impressive as Pompei the day before. For lunch Alan prepared a tasty picnic right next to a mozzarella cheese farm.

In the morning everybody was attending the briefing to get all the informations for todays ride.
Our first stop was Paestum on the coast line.
In the museum right next to the ruins we saw the famous painting of a diver.
On the site itself we visited three big temples.
They were built for Poseidon, Hera and Athena, the Greek gods.
The whole area is huge and everywhere is something interesting to learn about.
While we were looking at old ruins Alan was busy preparing a proper picnic for us.
Everything typical Italian was on the table and it was quite a feast!
After lunch we walked over to the buffalo farm. Scott was petting one of them.
Debra had fun petting them too.
At the farm they are producing mozzarella cheese out of buffalo milk and they had 250 buffalos for that.
The last stretch going to the hotel of the day was a beautiful road along the coast. Here comes Scott on his 1200 GS.
The road is carved into the side of the cliff.
Augusto on his BMW XR.
And Aigars coming through the turn also on a 1200 GS.
What a view!
Another shot of Scott.

Day 4 - Aquafredda to Tropea

The ride today featured a nice and easy section along the coast in the morning where we visited a huge Christ statue. Then we turned towards the mountains before lunch. It's called the La Sila mountain range and it offered us incredibly twisty roads, hair pin turns, stunning views and all that without any traffic.

'The Redeemer' or the 'Christ of Maratea' is a 21 meter high statue on top of Monte Biagio.
Jim, Scott, Aigars and Augusto enjoyed the view right behind the statue.
At the bottom you can see the town of Maratea right at the coast with it's pretty marina.
The statue was built from 1963 to 1965 by Bruno Innocenti. It consists of a special mixture of Carrara marble and concrete.
That's the road coming up and going back down to have a look at the statue. It's almost a roller coaster.
Here we were already going up the La Sila mountain range.
Roads like this for a little over 2 hours. 2 hours just riding and almost no traffic.
Of course the awesome roads also led us through some very pretty countryside.
So we stopped to take some pictures.
The lunch stop offered a pretty view as well.
The owner saw us cruising through the city and followed us to his restaurant. So he openend up his place just for us and prepared our lunch fresh in just a couple of minutes.
We tried all different kinds of local Antipasti.
After the lunch stop we continued riding through the mountains and arrived back to the coast line for another stop.
In Amantea we had another coffee and gelato.
Amantea is a pretty little town with lots of history. It is also one of the most beatiful medieval towns in southern Italy.
We parked our bikes with quite a view over the town.
Debra, Augusto, Aigars and Scott relaxing in the sun after some really good gelato.

Day 5 - Tropea to Taormina

On this it was time for the last stretch along the coast line and then to take the ferry over to the beautiful island of Sicily. Before we reached Villa San Giovanni where the ferry leaves we had a relaxing lunch stop in Scilla. And in the afternoon we took a detour to get some extra miles in the amazing mountains north of Mount Etna.

A proper briefing in the morning told us about the hightlights of the upcoming day.
Alan is always ready to go!
Scilla is a magnificent town with a beautiful waterfront and beach.
Jim, Debra, Scott and Aigars looking back to the Italian mainland we just left.
We absolutely enjoyed all the roads, sites, towns, food, drinks and gelato of the 'boot' of Italy but now it's time for Sicily.
Scott on the ferry and mount Etna already in the background.
Another short briefing for the upcoming ride through Messina. One of the biggest cities on Sicily.
The Italian traffic is quite something but on Sicily it appears to be even worse.
But hey, we can deal with a little bit of traffic in the big cities to reach coastlines like this. And this is a picture of our hotel room in Taormina. Our destination for 2 nights and a restday to come.

Day 6 - Restday Taormina

Our first full day on Sicily and it was a restday meaning we had plenty of options what to do. Jim went to ride by himself down to Catania and the beautiful beaches. The rest of the group came with Michael and Alan for a ride up to Mount Etna. It's the highest mountain on Sicily and also the biggest Volcano in Europe (if you don't count Iceland into it). We took the cable car up to go closer to the active craters and see the steam and smoke rising daily. Of course the roads up and down the mountain are amazing as well and offer quite a view all the way down to the coast.

That is what the first few kilometers of the ride up looked like.
Halfway up we made a short stop for a coffee and freshly baked croissants.
Augusto enjoyed his Espresso doppio - as usual.
And Scott said that this was the best coffee and croissants he had so far in Italy.
The ride continued and led as right through the lava fields around the mountain.
That's what you'll see most of the time riding up. The steaming mountain top of Etna still covered in snow.
On some parts we had to be careful. Ash of the volcano could and was still on the road.
The last stretch going up. Right before the top of the road.
Crateri Silvestri was our stop so we could walk around in the lava.
The weather was just perfect to be at Mount Etna.
We took the cable car almost to the top.
Steam is coming through the lava rocks.
Scott and Aigars at the top of Mount Etna volcano.
A picture taken from a distance. If you look closely you can see the cable car going up.
Alan posing on the Ducati for a picture with the volcano in the background.
A huge part was covered by clouds and only the top of the mountain was sunny with blue sky.
Augusto and Aigars following Michael on the way down.
Scott in Debra going through the lava fields.
On the way down we also stopped at a house that didn't survive a lavastream in 2003.
Clearly Augusto had fun on the restday's ride.

Day 7 - Taormina to Cefalú

After a relaxing restday and a beautiful ride around mount Etna it is time to leave for another amazing day of twisty roads thorugh the countryside of Sicily. We'll see wide mountain ranges with lots of roads going up and down and they're almost empty - perfect for us!

Again we went by the lava fields of Mount Etna.
Of course we stopped and enjoyed the scenery.
A last view back to the mighty volcano until we will see him again in two days.
Scott and Debra on their bike.
Riding through little Italian villages.
Then we arrived to Sperlinga.
Sperlinga is famous for its Normans castle built in 1132.
Bikes always look better when lined up.
Walking up the castle it offers an amazing view.
Scott doing some traditional weaving.
Alan and Scott on top of the castle.
Very impressive when you stand on the walls at the top.
The typical countryside on Sicily.
Then we visited the Palazzo Buongiorno and took a proper group picture.
The hotel in Cefalú was marked properly to find the way.
We changend clothes at the hotel and then walked down to the city center.
Debra, Michael and Scott.
Walking towards the dome of Cefalú.
The dome San Salvatore which they started building in 1131 and finished in 1267.
Alan is shopping for a new hat.
The dinner back in the hotel was delicious as usual.
The dessert was outstanding.
Especially the chocolate cake with 7 different layers of chocolate.

Day 8 - Cefalú to Agrigento

Today will be a very long day because there is lots of things to see. So instead of having a long lunch in a restaurant Michael will prepare a picnic in the forest of Godrano for us to save some time. Then we will have a look at Corleone, the famous Mafia town, and Prizzi. And of course we will have plenty of amazing roads for our motorcycles!

Leaving the coast and going up into the mountains our first stop was Caccamo.
Another Normans castle to visit also from the inside.
Debra checking out the castle. What a lovely ancient bedroom.
The view from Castello di Caccamo.
Then it was finally time to have lunch.
The fire was burning. The meat was ready. It was time to grill!
Typical Italian salsiccia - sausage.
Michael grilled sausages and burgers for everyone!
What a great picnic spot in the middle of a forest.
Aigars enjoying his burger!
After an incredibly good lunch we stopped for an obligatory picture in Corleone.
Afterwards we had a coffee in Prizzi.
After a long day we arrived to Agrigento in the south of Sicily with its famous temples.
Our hotel was almost next to the ruins so we took a walk and had a closer look.
We even had our personal guide for the temples because there is just so much history in this area.
The temple of Hera which was reconstructed.
In the Greek and Roman times not the whole statues got replaced but only the heads and the hands. Much less work.
The statue is from an open air art exhibition and shows Icarus the fallen man.
Our group in front of the temple. Look how small we are.
This temple was used as a Christian church and got maintained over thousand of years and it's still in its original condition. It is not a reconstruction and 2.300 years old.
What an impressive day! Again!

Day 9 - Agrigento to Catania

Unfortunately it's our last riding day today. Once again we'll enjoy the Sicilian countryside with its picturesque little villages all over and its amazing roads for us motorcycle riders. We will arrive to Catania soon and have our last dinner together!

As we started in Agigento there was an Italian Motorcycle Club with around 30 bikes.
They left at the same time and were doing a big lap around Sicily.
Luckily we didn't have to join them and could go in our small group of 4 motorcycles again.
The last picture from on the road. Getting lost in the Italian villages and their charme one last time.
Ladies and gentlemen, it was a pleasure riding with you! Have a safe trip back home and hopefully see you soon on another tour with Edelweiss Bike Travel!
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Add a comment Rate this post
Alan Magnoni
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 13:42

what a great tour!!! hope everybody is doing well and hope to see you soon on another tour in bella italia ...
Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 01:27

My husband and I are looking at this trip for 2018 and trying to decide weather best in May or October?
This was a fantastic post!! Thank you very much! I enjoyed it and cannot wait to join the tour!
We went on the HAT tour in Oct 2015 and it was wonderful!
Augusto Philadelpho
Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 12:29

Great tour guides, they ride, they cook, they are mechanics, they carry our bags and, at last but not least, Alan is always entertaining us with some comedy comentaries. They are complete!!!

Big hug for you all!!!
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 19:00

Another great day with the whole team together! Tour guides leads us to discover ourselves and keeps Edelweiss on the top!
Michelle Irvine
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 04:38

Hello From Canada! My husband and I are heading your way Friday! we are riding from Sicily to Rome. This tour looks amazing... we can't wait to get there
Michael Kreuzmeir
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 14:57

Hello Michelle! We are arriving to Catania on Firday too. Do you stay in the tour hotel already? So we would meet there on friday.

Looking forward to see you there!
Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 01:48

Hi Michael,
We leave Canada Friday and we will arrive Saturday. Yes we will be staying at the tour hotel! Awesome pictures of the tour so far! I can't wait!!!
Monday, April 24, 2017 at 19:35

Daughter Debra and son-in -law Scott on this amazing trip. They have sent me pictures, but this blog shows it up close and personal. Very enjoyable to look at and explained to perfection.
Monday, April 24, 2017 at 13:49

The riding, views, food and tour guides, fantastico!
Monday, April 24, 2017 at 11:16

Hello to Italy,
have fun on your tour and drive safe.
Greetings from cold Munich, only 2 degrees this morning.... brrrr.
Michael Kreuzmeir
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 14:58

Hello Claudia!
Just to let you know: 23° in Cefalu right now. We are enjoying the ride and soon the pool.

Hope to see you soon!
Alan Magnoni
Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 23:43

Great Tour!!!!!


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