Sicily by motorbike

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A tour of Sicily by motorbike is a wonderful adventure. Travelling on the roads, from coast to coast, from city to city, can be a daily discovery. Beautiful mountains soften into gentle hills until they reach the plains, surrounded by places rich in history and culture. The mild climate all year round is certainly one more reason to do it by motorbike.

There are many possible itineraries for all tastes.

The classic tour goes around the coast and lasts about a week: starting from Messina, once you have disembarked after crossing the Strait, take the SS113 state road that runs along the Tyrrhenian Sea to Palermo for 250 km.

The first stop is Tindari. TheSanctuary can already be seen along the road and, looking down, we can admire the amazing Oliveri beach with its lakes and stretches of sand. Continuing on our route, we reach Gioiosa Marea. The name makes us think of the beautiful pebble beach of Capo Calavà. We pass through Brolo, known for its tasty Nebrodi meats, and then through the enchanting Capo d’Orlando and Santo Stefano di Camastra, which is renowned for its ceramics. As you follow this road, you are sure to have already fallen in love with Sicily!

You’ll be captivated by the landscape with the outline of the Aeolian islands that will follow you until you reach Cefalù. The town deserves a stop to visit the Cathedral, which is part of the Arab-NormannUNESCO heritage route, which leads us all the way to Palermo.

A motorbike is the ideal vehicle for dealing with the traffic, as the locals in Palermo well know.

Look for motorbike parking spaces, which are free so you won’t get a fine. Among the many architectural and artistic gems on offer, be sure not to miss the Cappella Palatina, which is listed as a UNESCO heritage site, and the historical markets (Capo, Ballarò and Vucciria). Go up corso Calatafimi to reach the Cathedral of Monreale (this stop is also included in the UNESCO Arab-Norman heritage itinerary) and continue on to the Abbey of San Martino delle Scale.

We set off for Trapani following the E90 and then the SS 186. Stop for lunch inCastellammare del Golfo: enjoy incredibly fresh fish in one of the many trattorias by the sea! This is the ideal area to delight yourself with the famous Trapani-style cous cous with fish. Don’t forget cassatella for dessert.

The next stops are the Bay of Guidaloca, Scopello (the ancient town known for pane cunzato) and the Riserva dello Zingaro where you can dive into the Mediterranean from some of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily.

Get back on road 187 as far as Erice, a medieval town on the mountain about Trapani. A beautiful panoramic road will take you to one of Sicily’s oldest villages. Visit theCastle, buy some colourful handmade rugs (perhaps a small one given that you’re travelling by motorbike) and sweets made from almond paste. From the incredible hairpin bends, a breath-taking view of the Egadi islands opens up.

Having seen Trapani from above, don’t miss out on a visit to its historic centre. Now is the time to take the Via del sale (Salt Road) that leads from Trapani toMarsala. And if you find yourself at the Mozia dock in time sunset, you will leave a piece of your heart behind.

Visit Marsala andMazara del Vallo: the Dancing Satyr is unmissable! So are the Caves of Cusa and Selinunte and Segesta.

Take the SS 115 to reachSciacca, a lovely seaside town.

Between Sciacca andAgrigento you can find Eraclea Minoa and the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve, which is ideal for those who prefer to avoid crowded beaches.

Agrigento, with itsValley of Temples, shows us an enviable collection of Greek art. Next, set off on a longer stretch that will take you straight to Ragusa Ibla, Noto, Marzamemi, Scicli and Ispica, stone gardens with a wealth of history. After the full immersion inbaroque architect, head towards the natural oases by the sea: Calamosche and theRiserva di Vendicari.

Aim for Syracuse to visit magnificent Ortigia and then make your way to beautiful and livelyCatania.

Next up are the baroque Acireale and Timpa, the sea stacks of Acitrezza, then continue on toTaormina, Castelmola and, finally,Etna, which dominates the landscape

Europe’s largest active volcano is an amazing destination. Its altitude (3,350 metres) offers the chances for your two wheels to take on winding routes with a lot of fun. Valle del Bove towards Zafferana Etnea, Linguaglossa, Randazzo and Bronte are just a few of the very evocative places where the fire of the volcano contrasts against the harshness of the slopes and the water of the hidden lakes. There are also great opportunities for olfactory enjoyment here, with unmistakable smells such as wild fennel, olive trees and pistachio.

The routes that pass through the natural parks are also ideal for motorbike travel, such as those that lead you to adventures between Madonie and Nebrodi, Monti Sicani and Gole dell’Alcantara, where we find landscapes suspended in time between pastures, shepherd’s hut and bubbling streams, far removed from the more traditional paths.

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