Way of St James in Sicily

Detail

Would you like to experience close contact with nature and spirituality? The Way of St James in Sicily is the itinerary that takes you in the footsteps of one of the most beloved figures of the faithful, St James.

The Way of St James in Sicily winds its way in 6 stages between the city of Caltagirone and the mountain village of Capizzi, the two island communities with the oldest and liveliest Jacobean tradition, custodians of important relics of St James the Greater. Along a route of about 130 km, which touches another 8 intermediate municipalities in stages that are always quite short, pilgrims find themselves immersed in an extraordinary variety of landscapes that change completely according to the seasons. A journey within oneself, a contemplative quest through a land of ancient tradition and hospitality.

The Way of St James in Sicily can be modulated according to the time and aptitude of the walkers. The stages are not standard and allow the journey to be organised over several days. In the following stages, villages are mentioned where there is the possibility to stay overnight and eat.

The first stage of the Way of Saint James goes from Caltagirone (CT) to Mirabella Imbaccari (CT), along a rural route rich in water springs. After visiting the Church of San Giacomo di Caltagirone, the route continues to San Michele di Ganzaria (CT), a stop for refreshments where you can stamp your credential and visit the Church of San Michele Arcangelo. After the stop, arrows along the old railway road lead to Mirabella Imbaccari.

The second stage of the Way of St James in Sicily goes from Mirabella Imbaccari to Piazza Armerina (EN). On the way, in the direction of Aidone (CT), we encounter the Hermitage of Leano, where we stop before arriving in Piazza Armerina, world-famous for the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale, among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sicily, with the possibility of an overnight stay at the Church of San Giacomo.

Continuing on the Way of St. James, from Piazza Armerina we arrive at Valguarnera Caropepe (EN), crossing the Rossomanno-Grottascura-Bellia Reserve, characterised by a dense forest of eucalyptus and conifers and embellished by the Chapel of the Madonna del Cammino and some installations dedicated to pilgrims, the work of the artist Enzo Germanà. Among the reserve’s gems are the so-called Pietre Incantate. Having arrived at the Croce di Ferro work and deposited the votive stone, the descent to Valguarnera* is undertaken.

*A stage variant allows a visit to the village of Aidone (EN).

Leaving Valguarnera, the fourth stage of the Way of St. James reaches Assoro (EN) crossing the Dittaino Plain, where the river of the same name makes the valley fertile and it is possible to stop before reaching the hill of Assoro, with its historic centre dominated by the Palazzo della Signoria and the Basilica San Leone (12th century). Not to be missed is the former convent of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

The fifth stage on the Way of Saint James goes from Assoro to Nicosia (EN) heading towards Nissoria (EN), the ancient hamlet of Nysura (6th century), of Armenian origin. Crossing the Nebrodi border, the descent begins, reaching Nicosia, the so-called “City of the 24 Barons”, rich in history and monuments, such as the Cathedral and the Convent of the Capuchins, a stop along the way.

The last stage of the Way of St James in Sicily takes us from Nicosia to Capizzi (ME). From the Contrada Albereto to that of San Giacomo, with the church of the same name, we reach the high ground on which Capizzi stands, the “Sicilian Compostela”, destination of the pilgrimage to the island’s oldest sanctuary, which houses the statue of the Apostle James and the ancient sedan-chair (ferculum) in the Oratory of Buona Morte.

For more information visit the Way of St James in Sicily website.

Regional web map of paths and routes for soft mobility realised by LabGis Osservatorio Turistico della Regione Sicilia, in collaboration with FIAB Sicilia and CAI Sicilia.

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LOCATION

DURATION

Distance

130 km

Difficulty

Medium

Seasons

Categories

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