Motorcycle riding in the Erei Mountains
Are you a motorcycling lover, and do you love to explore beautiful and unexpected scenery? Do you fancy leaving the coast and discovering the rich and colourful Sicily’s hinterland? Then, the one below is the bikers tour just right for you.
The Monti Erei rise south of the Nebrodi and Madonie mountains and west of the Catania plain. They are limestone highlands that stretch out into the province of Enna. The city is located at 992 m above sea level and is the highest town in Italy. Before you hop in the saddle, do not forget to visit the castle and discover the city’s astronomical secrets.
In the Valguarnera Caropepe (EN) area, there is the Floristella-Grottacalda Nature Park, where it is possible to visit two former sulphur mines, no longer active today. Typical of the place are the maccalubes: these are small mud volcanoes. Let’s also take a look at the sulphurous water spring that feeds the Floristella stream.
About 20 km south of Valguarnera, at an altitude of 700 m, lies Piazza Armerina. This ancient city has a medieval layout, and its beautiful historical centre is in Norman and Baroque style. Once here, we cannot miss a visit to the Roman Villa del Casale. The building dates back to the 4th century AD and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Piazza Armerina is also called the “city of mosaics”. In the mid-20th century, during a remarkable excavation campaign, archaeologists found 3500 square metres of flooring with figurative and geometric mosaics.
High-value columns, statues, capitals and coins were also discovered during the excavations. We pick up the motorbike and ride 40 km south of Piazza Armerina. Along a route of gentle hills, we reach the town of Mazzarino, where we will visit one of the most impressive castles in Sicily. The historical building is called U Cannuni (the cannon), because of its unique cylindrical tower that stands on a tiny hill.
Proceeding down for 50 km from Mazzarino, already in the province of Catania, we ride through Caltagirone. In this beautiful city, we have the chance to stretch our legs: let’s have a walk on the famous Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte. The staircase is 130 m long and has 142 steps decorated with brightly colour local ceramics.
Our journey ends in the heart of the Enna area, at Lake Pergusa. Around the lake is the Pergusa circuit. It is the only circuit in the south of the island where motorbike and car races are held. The racetrack was built in 1951, and it has a series of straights and narrow bends. Driving requires braking and great agility when changing directions.
After visiting the circuit, we can enjoy the unspoilt nature of the Pergusa Lake Nature Reserve, where we can practice birdwatching, trekking, hiking and … relaxing!