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Rome to Sicily Special! SPT17067

Saturday, May 20, 2017 | Domenico Schiano Moriello | Europe

Day 10, Agrigento - Catania

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!

The view of the Valley of the Temples from our hotel.
In Sommatino
Where are the women? Good question, guys! Well, they should be shopping for food... and then go home to prepare lunch!
The amazing mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale.
This looks like a little temple... to bless our helmets!
Lunch break
The entrance to our hotel in Catania
Well done!
The name of the hotel is Villa Paradiso dell'Etna (Paradise of the Etna). Guess why?

Day 9, Cefalù - Agrigento

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!

Leaving Cefalù
The castle of Caccamo
also this is Sicily!
The Royal Palace. Ficuzza was the Royal Hunting Reserve.
compulsory photo stop in Corleone
Did I mention the beautiful landscapes before?
Still one hour to go!

Day 8, Taormina - Cefalù

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.

The roads around Randazzo
Coffee break in Randazzo
The castle of Sperlinga
These flowers looked so perfect that we were thinking they were fake!
The Godfathers
Leaving Sperlinga
Beautiful viae from Gangi!
Gangi, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Some riding fun on the way down to Cefalù
Nice curve, Oliver!
Sicilian Cassata, one of my favourite sweets!

Day 7, Rest day Ride on Mount Etna

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.

The view from Forza d'Agrò, one of the town where the movie "The Godfather" was filmed.
The church of Forza d'Agrò.
Coming down from Forza d'Agrò.
Michele preparing a good Cappuccino on Mount Etna
Cappuccino break
It takes long time before trees can grow again on a lava flow!
Taking pictures
The view from Taormina
Group shot

Day 6, Tropea - 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.

A view of Tropea from the beach
The beach of Tropea
Reaching Scilla
Scilla and its beach
Crossing the Strait of Messina, soon we will be in Sicily!
Almost there...
Coffee break in Novara di Sicilia
Impressive to see mount Etna so suddenly for the first time after a curve!
The view from our hotel, stunning!

Day 5, Maratea - Tropea

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!!!

the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Maratea... and the road to reach it!
Picture stop overlooking the Isola di Dino, we are in Calabria already!
Coffee break in Diamante
this little town is quite famous for its murals
red hot spicy peppers from Calabria
Some riding! Here Don
Oliver doing a late apex
Altomonte, where we had lunch
in Altomonte we met an american guy, Josh Gaspero. He is an important editor that fell in love with this town and bought and restored a old villa turning it into a hotel. Now he spends more time in Altomonte than in Manhattan!
last break in Amantea for a gelato
The tartufo (truffle), delicious!
a view of Amantea

Day 4, Pompei - Maratea

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!

group picture!
Great view from the highway!!!
coffee break in Paestum
the archeological area of Paestum
Campania is home of the Mozzarella di bufala - buffalo mozzarella, and the area around Paestum is an important centre for its production.
The specialties at Caseificio Barlotti!
inside the Cilento National Park
the coast before Maratea
our beautiful hotel

Day 3, Rest day Ride on the Amalfi Coast

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.

The view from our first Picture stop
a few cruise ships around Sorrento
Don having coffee with a view!
Forza Napoli (always!!!)
The Fiat 500 is a rear-engined two-door, four seat, small city car manufactured and marketed by Fiat Automobiles from 1957 to 1975. Tis italian icon was a cheap and practical little town car, and is considered one of the first purpose designed city cars. Oh, and... well Domenico besides the car. Would he fit in???
A few impressions of the Amalfi Coast
Spaghetti con le vongole
The view from Ravello
The beautiful garden of Villa Rufolo
Don and Charles
other few impressions...

Day 2, Roma - Pompei

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 view of lake Albano with Castel Gandolfo, summer residence of the Pope.
Charles and Oliver
Coffee break in Rocca Massima
The beautiful view over Sperlonga
Riding between sea and sky!
Don, Charles, Steven and Oliver in the ruins of ancient Pompei, the town completely buried by Mount Vesuvius in the year 79AD.
this was a "fast food" back in the times.
beware the dog
the shape of Mount Vesuvius behind the ruins of Pompei looks even more threatening!

Day 1, Welcome to Roma!!!

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!!!

After preparing the bikes, Domenico went for a little ride to find food...
and had a pizza with a beautiul view over Rome!
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Add a comment Rate this post
Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 00:35

Thank you Dominico for a wonderful and safe trip. We truly appreciate your good humor and extra effort to make all of us "happy campers" and better faster safer riders. We hope to reciprocate by hosting you in the USA.
Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 18:05

The trip just gets better and better. The countryside is beautiful and the food is fabulous. Or maybe it's the countryside is fabulous and the food is beautiful!
Monday, May 15, 2017 at 08:16

Hey Steve, Oliver, Don and Charles,
*W*O*W* > your blog looks amazing and all the great roads, scenery and food must be fantastic to be experienced! Take care and enjoy the trip and I hope all is just as you wish!
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 17:46

We are having fun! and Dominico speaks excellent Italian! His pictures are great also!


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